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(brong′kī″, brong′kē″) Plural of bronchus.

foreign bodies in b. Any materials that are aspirated into the lower airways, such as beans, nuts, seeds, or coins. These items, which usually lodge in the right bronchus because of its anatomical relation to the trachea, may cause pneumonia, airway inflammation, abscess formation, or atelectasis.

 TREATMENT: They are typically removed with bronchoscopy.


(brŏng′kē-ăl) Pert. to the bronchi or bronchioles.

bronchial breath sounds

SEE: sound, bronchial.

bronchial thermoplasty

The reduction in the amount of smooth muscle mass in the airways when heat energy is applied to the airways bronchoscopically. The procedure uses heat energy generated with radiofrequency technology to ablate smooth muscle. It has been used as an experimental treatment for asthma.

bronchial tube

One of the smaller divisions of the bronchi.

bronchial washing

Irrigation of one or both bronchi to collect cells for cytologic study or to help cleanse the bronchi.


(brong″kē-ek′tă-sĭs) [broncho- + ectasis,] Chronic dilation of a bronchus or bronchi, usually in the lower portions of the lung, caused by the damaging effects of a long-standing infection.

INCIDENCE: More than 100,000 Americans have bronchiectasis. The prevalence increases with advancing age.

CAUSES: The condition may be acquired or congenital and may occur in one or both lungs. Bronchiectasis has three forms (cylindrical, varicose, and saccular), which may occur individually or together. Acquired bronchiectasis usually occurs secondary to an obstruction or an infection such as bronchopneumonia, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, or whooping cough. The incidence has decreased with antibiotic treatment of acute infections.

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: Chronic cough, foul-smelling, mucopurulent, or bloody sputum, fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, and malaise are common symptoms and signs.

DIAGNOSIS: Radiography is used to confirm the diagnosis. High-resolution lung CT reveals abnormal widening of small and medium-sized bronchi with mucosal thickening.

PREVENTION: Lower respiratory infections and lung function in patients with bronchiectasis may be preventable with daily antibiotic therapy.

TREATMENT: Therapy consists of oral or IV antibiotics for 7 to 10 days, pulmonary hygiene, and postural drainage. Resection of affected areas may be done in selected patients. Aerosols may be useful for bronchodilation, if bronchospasm is present. In advanced cases of bronchiectasis complicated by chronic respiratory failure, lung transplantation is an option. SEE: postural drainage.

PROGNOSIS: The natural history of bronchiectasis is variable. Some patients have relatively infrequent infectious complications; others may deteriorate rapidly and require ventilatory assistance ...

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