Your doctor may suspect bronchiectasis if you have a daily cough that produces large amounts of sputum (spit).
To find out whether you have bronchiectasis, your doctor may recommend tests to:
A chest computed tomography (to-MOG-ra-fee) scan, or chest CT scan, is the most common test for diagnosing bronchiectasis.
This painless test creates precise pictures of your airways and other structures in your chest. A chest CT scan can show the extent and location of lung damage. This test gives more detailed pictures than a standard chest x ray.
This painless test creates pictures of the structures in your chest, such as your heart and lungs. A chest x ray can show areas of abnormal lung and thickened, irregular airway walls.
Your doctor may recommend other tests, such as:
If your bronchiectasis doesn't respond to treatment, your doctor may recommend bronchoscopy (bron-KOS-ko-pee). Doctors use this procedure to look inside the airways.
During bronchoscopy, a flexible tube with a light on the end is inserted through your nose or mouth into your airways. The tube is called a bronchoscope. It provides a video image of your airways. You'll be given medicine to numb your upper airway and help you relax during the procedure.
Bronchoscopy can show whether you have a blockage in your airways. The procedure also can show the source of any bleeding in your airways.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Bronchiectasis, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
September 2, 2014
Gary H. Gibbons
Researcher Brings Medicine One Step Closer to Widely Available Cure for Sickle Cell Disease
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.