Paediatric and adult bronchiectasis: Specific management with coexisting asthma, COPD, rheumatological disease and inflammatory bowel disease

Respirology. 2019 Nov;24(11):1063-1072. doi: 10.1111/resp.13615. Epub 2019 Jun 20.


Bronchiectasis, conventionally defined as irreversible dilatation of the bronchial tree, is generally suspected on a clinical basis and confirmed by means of chest high-resolution computed tomography. Clinical manifestations, including chronic productive cough and endobronchial suppuration with persistent chest infection and inflammation, may deeply affect quality of life, both in children/adolescents and adults. Despite many cases being idiopathic or post-infectious, a number of specific aetiologies have been traditionally associated with bronchiectasis, such as cystic fibrosis (CF), primary ciliary dyskinesia or immunodeficiencies. Nevertheless, bronchiectasis may also develop in patients with bronchial asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and, less commonly, rheumatological disorders and inflammatory bowel diseases. Available literature on the development of bronchiectasis in these conditions and on its management is limited, particularly in children. However, bronchiectasis may complicate the clinical course of the underlying condition at any age, and appropriate management requires an integration of multiple skills in a team of complementary experts to provide the most appropriate care to affected children and adolescents. The present review aims at summarizing the current knowledge and available evidence on the management of bronchiectasis in the other conditions mentioned and focuses on the new therapeutic strategies that are emerging as promising tools for improving patients' quality of life.

Keywords: asthma; bronchiectasis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; inflammatory bowel disease; rheumatological disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Bronchiectasis* / epidemiology
  • Bronchiectasis* / therapy
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Patient Care Management / methods*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / epidemiology*