Bronchitis:  inflammation of one or more bronchi

Bronchus:  one of the larger passages conveying air to and within the lungs

Chronic Bronchitis:  Excessive mucus production with productive cough for at least 3 months a year for 2 successive years.  Only a minority of patients with the clinical syndrome of chronic bronchitis develop significant airway obstruction.

Cause:  Severitly of disease related to amount and duration of smoking; respiratory infection  exacerbates symptoms;  Allergies; Pollutants

Hypertrophy ( enlargement or overgrowth) and hyperplasia ( abnormal increase in the number of normal cells in normal arrangement )of bronchial mucous glands

Wide spread inflammation
Narrowing of airways, and mucus within the airways produce resistance in small airways and cause severe ventilation perfusion imbalance




Shortness of breath

Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)

Chronic Bronchitis:

Insidious onset, with productive  cough and exertional dyspnea

Colds associated with increased sputum production and worsening dyspnea that take progressively longer to resolve; copious sputum (gray, white, or yellow in color)

Weight gain from edema ( abnormal accumulation of fluid in intercellular spaces of the body)

Cyanosis (a bluish discoloration of skin)

Tachypnea (rapid respiration)


Prolong expiratory time

Use of accessory muscles of respiration


Antibiotic therapy - for infections

Bronchodilators - to relieve bronchospasm and facilitate mucocillary clearance

Adequate fluid intake and chest physiotherapy to mobilize secretions

Ultrasonic or mechanical nebulizer treatments to loosen secretions and aid in mobilization

Occasionally Corticosteroids

Diuretics for edema

Oxygen for hypoxemia (deficient oxygenation of the blood)

Avoidance of smoking and air pollutants

Latest Article: Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis:    An irreversible condition marked by chronic abnormal dilation of bronchi and destruction of bronchial walls, this disorder can occur throughout the tracheobronchial tree or can be confined to one segment or lobe.  It is usually bilateral, involving the basilar segments of the lower lobes.  Bronchiectasis has three forms:  Cylindrical...

Related Articles: