Bronchiectasis resources for practitioners

Patients who have COPD, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or other chronic lung conditions may also have bronchiectasis (BE).

BE is a condition where the lungs’ airways are abnormally stretched and scarred, resulting in mucus retention. BE is often not detected or diagnosed.

Those who have BE, and particularly those who also have COPD, may be suffering from any of the following:

  • chronic cough
  • sputum production
  • worsening cough and sputum
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • more exacerbations
  • hospitalizations
  • a lower quality of life

Is it COPD—or BE?

The Bronchiectasis Patient Screening Tool on this page is a good place to start. It contains questions about your patient that can help determine if they may be a candidate for a diagnostic screening for bronchiectasis. If the answer is YES on three or more of the Screening Tool’s questions, the patient may be a candidate. Click the pdf to download it.

A CT scan can help determine a BE diagnosis. Early diagnosis and intervention is the key to slowing the disease progression and helping your patients live better with BE.

Relatively common, especially as people age

BE can frequently occur in parallel with more common forms of chronic lung disease.

A study presented at CHEST 2016 Annual meeting demonstrated a prevalence of BE in moderate to severe COPD patients. The study showed that 48% of moderate to severe COPD patients also have BE.1


The same study showed that 92.7% of those COPD patients that had ≥ 2 exacerbations or at least 1 hospitalization per year had BE.1

Below is additional research that provides information about the prevalence of BE in COPD, as well as information about how BE diagnoses have increased over the last decade.

  1. Kosmas E, Dumitru S, Gkatzias S, et al. Bronchiectasis in patients with COPD: an irrelevant imaging finding or a clinically important phenotype? American College of Chest Physicians. Elsevier Inc., 2016. doi:
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