What are the Causes of Bronchiectasis?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 19, 2013

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Causes of Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis is a chronic lung disease in which airways are damaged that causes them to widen, become flabby and scarred. Injury to lung can be caused due to infection or any other condition which causes injury to the walls of the airways or prevents clearing of mucus from the airways. Read to know some of the causes of bronchiectasis.


Lung Infection



Injury or damage to the wall of the airways can be caused due to lung infection, such as pneumonia, measles, whooping cough, TB (tuberculosis), or a fungal infection. Whooping cough and measles are the common childhood infections, which can lead to bronchiectasis, but with the use of vaccines and appropriate treatment the risk of bronchiectasis due to these infections has decreased.


Underlying Lung Condition



Many people with bronchiectasis have an underlying condition (such as cystic fibrosis, immunodeficiency disorders, AIDS, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia) that damages the airways and increases the risk of lung infections.


  • Cystic fibrosis: This is a common cause of bronchiectasis in developed countries such as the United States of America.
  • Various immunodeficiency disorders including HIV and AIDS increase the risk of lung infections and development of bronchiectasis.
  • Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis which is caused due to allergic reaction to a fungus called aspergillus can cause swelling in the airways, repeated infection, accumulation of mucus in the airways and finally bronchiectasis.
  • Disorders of ciliary function such as primary ciliary dyskinesia can cause bronchiectasis. Cilia are small, hair-like structures present in the airways which help to clear the mucus from your airways.
  • Any condition which causes blockage in your airways, such as growth, cancer, or something inhaled can also lead to bronchiectasis.


Congenital Bronchiectasis


It is caused due to problem in lung formation in the unborn baby (baby in the womb) so the patient is born with it. It usually affects infants and children.


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