Bronchiectasis is a condition that affects the large airways of the lungs. The condition slowly damages the elastic tissues and muscles that line the bronchial tubes due to inflammation and mucus blockages. This causes the airways to become wider. It can affect small or large areas of the lungs. The pediatric pulmonologists with Norton Children’s Pulmonology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the training and expertise to care for children with bronchiectasis.
What Causes Bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis can be congenital (present at birth). However, it can develop later in childhood. It often is caused by an infection or inflammation in the airways that keeps coming back. It can be triggered by a severe lung infection, pneumonia or inhaling a foreign object.
Cystic fibrosis is another cause of bronchiectasis, accounting for one-third of all cases of bronchiectasis in the U.S. Other inherited conditions also can cause it, such as primary ciliary dyskinesia and immunodeficiency syndromes.
The pediatric pulmonology team will create a care plan that is unique for each child. Treatments focus on relieving any airway obstruction and preventing complications. Treatments may include:
- Controlling daily drainage and removing sputum through coughing exercises
- Medicines, which may include antibiotics, bronchodilators and expectorants
- Surgery to remove damaged parts of the lungs, including damaged airways or part of the lungs that serve as a reservoir for frequent infections
- Lung transplant may be considered for rare conditions
Pediatric Pulmonary Center
Our center specializes in caring for children with any type of respiratory disorder. Careful consideration is given to prescribe the best possible method of therapy following nationally accepted guidelines for treating bronchiectasis, where applicable.