A study entitled “Analysis Of Etiology And Clinical Manifestations Of Patients With Bronchiectasis In Chinese Adult From Peking Union Medical College Hospital” was published in the American Thoracic Society International Conference Abstracts. This study conducted by a team of researchers from China aimed at examine the etiology of bronchiectasis and to characterize a sample of patients with a bronchiectasis diagnosis.
According to the American Lung Foundation, Bronchiectasis is an abnormal stretching and enlarging of the lungs’ airways caused by mucus blockage. The blockage and accompanying infection cause inflammation, leading to the weakening and widening of the passages. Bronchiectasis cannot be cured and the etiology is highly diverse. However, with proper treatment most people can live a normal life. The rationale behind the need for this study was the fact that the etiology and clinical characteristics of bronchiectasis are variable and that studies in Chinese patients are scarce.
For this study, patients with a clinical history of bronchiectasis (mean age 53.5 ±16.8 years) were recruited from the Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Data analysis revealed that 48.1% of participants had idiopathic bronchiectasis, following bronchiectasis secondary to infection (29.8%). Although less expressive, other etiologies were also found in these patients with bronchiectasis. These included cystic fibrosis or cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, diffuse panbronchistis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, Sjögren syndrome, thymoma related immunoglubin deficiency variant of immunoglubin deficiency (CVID), gastroesophageal reflux, congenital tracheobronchialmealy, and allergic bronchopulmoanry aspergillosis.
In terms of pathogenesis, the researchers found that Pseudomonas Aeruginosa contributed to 70.6% of respiratory pathogens and 35.6% of all the study sample. Moreover, the study showed that a fungi named aspergillus was the most prevalent pathogen, contributing to 13.7% of the total sample respiratory pathogens. Furthermore, data showed that patients who had less than one pathogen detection from respiratory tract had higher FEV1% compared with those who had two or more pathogens.
This study exposed that in this population of patients from China, idiopathic bronchiectasis is the most prevalent etiology of bronchiectasis. Furthermore, the team of researchers found the Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is the most common .pathogen detected from respiratory tract in bronchiectasis patients, and that patients with this pathogen or more than one pathogen had more pulmonary insufficiency. This study has important clinical and research implications to the understanding of the etiology and clinical features of bronchiectasis.