Aetiology and clinical characteristics of patients with bronchiectasis in a Chinese Han population: A prospective study

Respirology. 2015 Aug;20(6):917-24. doi: 10.1111/resp.12574. Epub 2015 Jun 19.


Background and objective: Bronchiectasis is a chronic respiratory disease with diverse causes that may differ in clinical features and thus treatment options. However, few large-scale studies on the aetiology of bronchiectasis are currently available. This study aims to determine aetiology and clinical features of bronchiectasis in a Chinese Han population.

Methods: This prospective study enrolled adult patients diagnosed with bronchiectasis as confirmed by high-resolution computed tomography at five general hospitals in Shandong from January 2010 to August 2014. Causes of bronchiectasis were sought by analysis of clinical history and auxiliary examinations (including serum immunoglobulin determination, saccharin test, Aspergillus skin prick test, autoantibody detection and electronic bronchoscopy).

Results: A total of 476 adult patients with bronchiectasis were included, and all patients were of Chinese Han ethnicity. Idiopathic (66.0%) was the most common cause, followed by post-tuberculosis (16.0%). Other uncommon causes included post-infective (3.8%), immunodeficiency (3.8%), allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (4.0%), rheumatic diseases (4.4%) and primary ciliary dyskinesia (0.9%). Patients with post-tuberculosis bronchiectasis had a higher frequency of upper lobe involvement (P < 0.05). Cylindrical bronchiectasis was the most common type of all causes, with varicose bronchiectasis occurring more frequently in post-tuberculosis bronchiectasis and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (P < 0.05). However, patients with different causes did not differ in lung function and sputum isolation rate of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: In a Chinese Han population in Shandong, idiopathic bronchiectasis is the most common form of bronchiectasis followed by post-tuberculosis bronchiectasis. Patients with different causes differ in distribution and pattern of bronchiectasis on computed tomography.

Keywords: aetiology; bronchiectasis; computed tomography; idiopathic; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian People*
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / complications
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnosis*
  • Bronchiectasis / etiology*
  • China
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications
  • Kartagener Syndrome / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications