Bronchiectasis: A retrospective study of clinical and aetiological investigation in a general respiratory department
A.. Amorima,,b, , J.. Bentob, A.P.. Vazb, I.. Gomesb, J.. de Graciac,d, V.. Hespanhola,b, A.. Marquesa,b
a Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal
b Pneumology, Centro Hospitalar de S. Jo??o, EPE, Porto, Portugal
c Faculty of Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
d Pneumology, CIBER Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES) Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain

Bronchiectasis can result from many diseases, which makes the aetiological investigation a complex process demanding special resources and experience. The aetiological diagnosis has been proven to be useful for the therapeutic approach.


Evaluate how accurately and extensive the clinical and aetiological research was for adult bronchiectasis patients in pulmonology outpatient service which were not following a pre-existing protocol.


We retrospectively reviewed the records of 202 adult patients with bronchiectasis, including the examinations performed to explain the aetiology.


The mean age of the patients was 54 ± 15 years, there was a predominance of female (63.9%) and non-smoker (70%) patients. Functional evaluation showed a mild airway obstruction.

The sputum microbiological examination was available for 168 patients (43.1% had 3 or more sputum examinations during one year). Immunoglobulins and α1-antitrypsin were measured in around 50% of the patients. The sweat test and the CF genotyping test were performed in 18% and 17% of the patients, respectively.

The most commonly identified cause was post-infectious (30.3%), mostly tuberculosis (27.2%). No definitive aetiological diagnosis was established in 57.4% of the patients. We achieved a lower aetiological diagnosis if we compare our series with studies in which a diagnostic algorithm was applied prospectively.


The general characteristics of our patients were similar with other series. Detailed investigation of bronchiectasis is not a standard practice in our outpatient service. These results suggest that the use of a predefined protocol, based on current guidelines, could improve the assessment of these patients and facilitate the achievement of a definitive aetiology.

Adult, Bronchiectasis, Clinical investigation, Aetiology, Respiratory service
Journal: Bronchiectasis: A retrospective study of clinical and aetiological investigation in a general respiratory department

This article belongs to the Journal: Pulmonology


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