Bronchiectasis : Hi can anyone tell me... - British Lung Foun...

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Hollyhops profile image

Hi can anyone tell me what is bronchiectasis and how is it it part of copd or a different lung disease... Thanks..

17 Replies

Hi, my Mum was recently told she had this and my understanding is that for her, this is a result of the damage done to her lungs by repeated pneumonia and infections, which are symptoms of her COPD.

So it is part of her COPD now but was not the primary problem, as I recall. I am sorry but I cannot remember exactly what this is not what exactly the symptoms are; I have a vague idea but I am sure someone else here can be much more specific.

My Bronchiectasis was probably caused by a bad bout of Pneumonia after a Measles attack as a 5 year old. It isn't connected to any other Lung disease. My specialists insist I don't have COPD. Those who have Cystic Fibrosis often get Bronchiectasis, but it's quite common to get non CF Bronch. and it's equally common for some people never to find out what caused their Bronch. It is always diagnosed by a CT scan. If you visit the BLF website, you wil find out all you need to know about it. Otherwise visit

No, it's not under the umbrella term of copd - in the uk anyway. It may be different elsewhere. In the uk only emphysema and chronic bronchitis come under copd.

As Phil40 says, his/her mum's bronch is a result of multiple pneumonia & chest infections, the same reason that I & many others have it.

I believe people can have it from birth, definitely from childhood. Hope that helps. We, lung patients all have to avoid catching coughs, cold & flu by every means possible.

Thanks for all the reply's I have to have a ct scan with contrast end October..just wondering if I'm getting tested for it.. I was hospitalised in early May for bad chest infection had another xray 6 weeks after discharge.. There was no mention of ct scan on due back for checkup on Friday.. Don't know who ordered ct scan could have been doc in A&E from where I was admitted with a exasperation or consultant who looked after me while I was in hospital.. I'm baffled..

I have had COPD for the past 30 years due to Emphysema then back last year I developed a cough which produced a lot of phlegm. After 9 months the GP finally decided to send me for a CT scan which was in March of this year and Bronchiectasis was diagnosed. Only difference now is that if things change to a chest infection I get 2 weeks on antibiotic instead of one. Other than that it just seems a case of keep trying to get the phlegm up and out which is an ongoing struggle. Hope this helps

Thank you for your reply I was never told I was to have a scan or who requested it .just got an appointment in the post for end of October.. But I will ask the consultant tomorrow when I go for check up..

Did you have dye with your ct scan.. What does the dye show up someone on hear said they only use dye to check blood vessels in your lungs..

No I did not have the dye with my CT scan

OK thanks..

Jaybird19 profile image
Jaybird19 in reply to Hollyhops

I had a lung abcess first, at 50 inhaling dust particles from a buiding alongside being demolished, and then pulmonary embolism years later caused by broken leg . !0 yrs later another pulmonary with muliple embolisms . this was shown up by using the

dye ( ? radioactive iodine ) in the scan. Just shows up more detail. I suppose.

Hollyhops profile image
Hollyhops in reply to Jaybird19


Agree with those above NOT COPD. CT scan diagnostics will confirm to consultant what damage to lungs and if it is bronc

When people ask me what it is I say I cough a lot - have horrible mucus and prone to chest infection

But life goes on.

Hello, I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis five years ago. I found it helpful when first diagnosed to find out more about this lung disease by going on line, There is lots of information out there which give answers in a very simple way. However, Health Unlocked is an excellent way of keeping in touch with fellow sufferers. Every one of us have different experiences and listening to them has helped me when I have a specific question. Different experiences result in different answers from members. It makes you appreciate you are not alone and their suggestions often help to make our quality of life better.

Keep well, CHRYS.

In my opinion, the very best info on Bronch is the booklet that can be downloaded from the CHSS link in my post above.

I am advised by my consultant that I have bronchiectasis as well as COPD. My bronchiectasis is probably from the smoking I have done for a great part of my life. I too am advised that I need two weekly antibiotics treatments and if I have lots of infections then they would consider antibiotics on a 3/4 days per week permanently.

At the moment I am on my 5th set of antibiotics in 4 months starting with pneumonia.

Hope this helps.

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to ssafa

It is more likely that the COPD was caused by the smoking. It is a different type of lung damage to bronchiectasis which is generally caused by childhood whooping cough , repeated infections or pneumonias. It is important that you empty your lungs every day whether or not you have an exacerbation of your bronch and yes two weeks of an antibiotic in a high dose is the usual for an exacerbation. Some people take azithromycin 3 days per wk on a permanent basis and find it really helps. It no longer works for me. Good luck, I hope that you successfully manage your bronch so that you can have a full and fulfilling life.

I appreciate your comments and I do try to empty my lungs. I take a tablet Carbostine to keep mucus thin and I am an optimist,

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