September 30, 2014 | Technology Forecasts
Bronchiectasis is caused by chronic inflammation from infection that leads to destruction of the larger bronchi and widening of the large airway. Bronchiectasis is usually the final stage of another chronic lung disease (i.e., cystic fibrosis).1,2 Bronchiectasis may affect many areas of the lung (diffuse bronchiectasis) or appear in only a small focal area (focal bronchiectasis).1 The airway slowly loses its ability to clear out mucus, allowing the mucus to accumulate and promoting the colonization of bacteria and harboring other irritants such as dust and debris. Accumulation of foreign debris within the lungs can lead to repeated lung infections, inflammation, and more damage.3,4
Bronchiectasis is less prevalent in developed countries, where the population has better access to immunizations and antibiotics. Some experts believe that because bronchiectasis is no longer included in health survey data, its prevalence and incidence may be underreported in the United States. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, approximately...