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Bronchiectasis in Systemic Diseases*

Mark Cohen, MD; Steven A. Sahn, MD, FCCP
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*From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Correspondence to: Steven A. Sahn, MD, FCCP, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 96 Jonathan Lucas St, Suite 812, PO Box 250623, Charleston, SC 29425; e-mail: sahnsa@musc.edu



Chest. 1999;116(4):1063-1074. doi:10.1378/chest.116.4.1063
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Bronchiectasis is defined as an abnormal, irreversible dilatation of the bronchi. It is not a disease per se, but it represents the end stage of a variety of pathologic processes.1 Laennec first described the clinical entity of bronchiectasis in 1819, but the clinical pattern of bronchiectasis has changed in the last century due to the early treatment of necrotizing pneumonias, better control of tuberculosis (TB), and the prevention of predisposing pulmonary infections by routine immunization. Advances in medical treatment have also lead to an increased survival to adulthood of patients with cystic fibrosis, hypogammaglobulinemia, and immotile cilia syndrome, all of which predispose to bronchiectasis.

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