Bronchitis

Bronchitis
Bronchitis.jpg
Figure A shows the location of the lungs and bronchial tubes. Figure B is an enlarged view of a normal bronchial tube. Figure C is an enlarged view of a bronchial tube with bronchitis.
Pronunciation
  • bron-kye-tis
SpecialtyInfectious disease, pulmonology
SymptomsCoughing up mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest discomfort[1]
TypesAcute, chronic[1]
FrequencyAcute: ~5% of people a year[2][3]
Chronic: ~5% of people[3]

Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi (large and medium-sized airways) in the lungs that causes coughing.[1] Symptoms include coughing up sputum, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest pain.[1] Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.[1]

Acute bronchitis usually has a cough that lasts around three weeks,[4] and is also known as a chest cold.[5] In more than 90% of cases the cause is a viral infection.[4] These viruses may be spread through the air when people cough or by direct contact.[6] A small number of cases are caused by a bacterial infection such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae or Bordetella pertussis.[4] Risk factors include exposure to tobacco smoke, dust, and other air pollution.[6] Treatment of acute bronchitis typically involves rest, paracetamol (acetaminophen), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help with the fever.[7][8]

Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough – one that produces sputum – that lasts for three months or more per year for at least two years.[9][10] Most people with chronic bronchitis have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).[11] Tobacco smoking is the most common cause, with a number of other factors such as air pollution and genetics playing a smaller role.[12] Treatments include quitting smoking, vaccinations, rehabilitation, and often inhaled bronchodilators and steroids.[13] Some people may benefit from long-term oxygen therapy.[13]

Acute bronchitis is one of the most common diseases.[7][14] About 5% of adults are affected and about 6% of children have at least one episode a year.[2][15] Acute bronchitis is the most common type of bronchitis.[5] In the United States, in 2016, 8.6 million people were diagnosed with chronic bronchitis.[16]

Acute bronchitis

Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis, also known as a chest cold, is short term inflammation of the bronchi of the lungs.[6][4] The most common symptom is a cough, that may or may not produce sputum.[17][4] Other symptoms include coughing up mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, fever, and chest discomfort.[6] The infection may last from a few to ten days.[6] The cough may persist for several weeks afterwards, with the total duration of symptoms usually around three weeks.[6][4] Symptoms may last for up to six weeks.[7]

Cause

In more than 90% of cases, the cause is a viral infection.[4] These viruses may spread through the air when people cough or by direct contact.[6] Risk factors include exposure to tobacco smoke, dust, and other air pollutants.[6] A small number of cases are due to high levels of air pollution or to bacteria such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae or Bordetella pertussis.[4]

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is typically based on a person's signs and symptoms.[18] The color of the sputum does not indicate if the infection is viral or bacterial.[4] Determining the underlying organism is usually not required.[4] Other causes of similar symptoms include asthma, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, bronchiectasis, and COPD.[4][2] A chest X-ray may be useful to detect pneumonia.[4]

Another common sign of bronchitis is a cough which lasts ten days to three weeks. If the cough lasts a month or a year, it may become chronic bronchitis. In addition, a fever may be present. Acute bronchitis is normally caused by a viral infection. Typically, these infections are rhinovirus, parainfluenza, or influenza. No specific testing is normally needed in order to diagnose acute bronchitis.[18]

Treatment

Prevention is by not smoking and avoiding other lung irritants.[19] Frequent hand washing may also be protective.[19] Treatment for acute bronchitis usually involves rest, paracetamol (acetaminophen), and NSAIDs to help with the fever.[7][8] Cough medicine has little support for its use, and is not recommended in children under the age of six.[4][20] There is tentative evidence that salbutamol may be useful in treating wheezing; however, it may result in nervousness and tremors.[4][21] Antibiotics should generally not be used.[17] An exception is when acute bronchitis is due to pertussis.[4] Tentative evidence supports honey and pelargonium to help with symptoms.[4] Getting plenty of rest and drinking enough fluids are often recommended as well.[22] Chinese medicinal herb are of unclear effect.[23]

Epidemiology

Acute bronchitis is one of the most-common diseases.[7][14] About 5% of adults are affected, and about 6% of children have at least one episode a year.[2][15] It occurs more often in the winter.[2] More than 10 million people in the US visit a doctor each year for this condition, with about 70% receiving antibiotics which are mostly not needed.[7] There are efforts to decrease the use of antibiotics in acute bronchitis.[14] Acute bronchitis is the most common type of bronchitis.[5]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Brongitis
asturianu: Bronquitis
azərbaycanca: Bronxit
تۆرکجه: برونخیت
беларуская: Бранхіт
български: Бронхит
bosanski: Bronhitis
català: Bronquitis
čeština: Bronchitida
dansk: Bronkitis
Deutsch: Bronchitis
Ελληνικά: Βρογχίτιδα
español: Bronquitis
Esperanto: Bronkito
euskara: Bronkitis
فارسی: برونشیت
Gaeilge: Broincíteas
galego: Bronquite
한국어: 기관지염
հայերեն: Բրոնխաբորբ
Արեւմտահայերէն: Ցնցղատապ
हिन्दी: श्वसनीशोथ
Bahasa Indonesia: Bronkitis
íslenska: Berkjubólga
italiano: Bronchite
Jawa: Bronkitis
қазақша: Бронхит
Kirundi: Boronshite
Кыргызча: Бронхит
latviešu: Bronhīts
Lëtzebuergesch: Bronchite
lietuvių: Bronchitas
magyar: Hörghurut
Bahasa Melayu: Bronkitis
Nederlands: Bronchitis
日本語: 気管支炎
norsk: Bronkitt
norsk nynorsk: Bronkitt
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Bronxit
پنجابی: برونکائیٹس
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ជំងឺហើមសួត
português: Bronquite
română: Bronșită
русский: Бронхит
Scots: Bronchitis
Simple English: Bronchitis
slovenščina: Bronhitis
српски / srpski: Bronhitis
svenska: Bronkit
татарча/tatarça: Бронхит
Türkçe: Bronşit
Türkmençe: Bronhit
українська: Бронхіт
اردو: قصباتس
Tiếng Việt: Viêm phế quản
吴语: 支气管炎
中文: 支气管炎