Five Things You Need to Know About Bronchiectasis

Dr Kevin Gruffydd-Jones

July 22, 2021

Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition characterised by symptoms of persistent or recurrent bronchial sepsis caused by irreversible damage to and dilation of the bronchi.[1] The key principles of the diagnosis and management of bronchiectasis were set out in the 2019 British Thoracic Society guideline for bronchiectasis in adults,[2] and subsequently explained in an article aimed at a specialist global primary care audience.[1]

In this short video, Dr Kevin Gruffydd-Jones answers the following five questions related to the investigation and management of bronchiectasis in primary care:

  • When should bronchiectasis be suspected?

  • What does routine review in primary care consist of?

  • Which patients should be referred to secondary care?

  • What are the principles of chronic management of bronchiectasis?

  • How should acute exacerbations be managed in primary care?

Proposed Algorithm for the Diagnostic Pathway in Primary Care of Patients Suspected of Having Bronchiectasis

CT=computed tomography; COPD=chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; IBD=inflammatory bowel disease

Proposed Algorithm for the Review and Management of Patients With Bronchiectasis in Primary Care

CT=computed tomography; COPD=chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; P. aeruginosa =Pseudomonas aeruginosa; MRSA=methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; NTM=non-tuberculous mycobacteria; ABPA=allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; IBD=inflammatory bowel disease; PCD=primary ciliary dyskinesia

This article was first published by Guidelines in Practice, part of the Medscape Professional Network. To read more articles on implementing clinical guidelines, visit For clinical guideline summaries, visit


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