Symptoms & Signs
Symptoms often develop gradually, and may occur months or years after the event that causes the bronchiectasis.
They may include:
- Bluish skin color
- Breath odor
- Chronic cough with large amounts of foul-smelling sputum
- Clubbing of fingers
- Coughing up blood
- Cough that gets worse when lying on one side
- Shortness of breath that gets worse with exercise
- Weight loss
Diagnosis & Tests
When listening to the chest with a stethoscope, the doctor may hear small clicking, bubbling, wheezing, rattling, or other sounds, usually in the lower lobes of the lungs.
Tests may include:
- Aspergillosis precipitin test (to check for signs of the aspergillosis fungus)
- Chest x-ray
- Chest CT
- Sputum culture
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- PPD skin test to check for a prior tuberculosis infection
- Serum immunoglobulin electrophoresis
- Sweat test or other cystic fibrosis testing
Review Date : 5/21/2009
Reviewed By : Allen J. Blaivas, D.O., Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.