Study Identifies Bronchiectasis Risk Factors in Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease

According to a story from Pulmonology Advisor, a recent study has evaluated risk factors for the appearance of bronchiectasis in patients with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD). A small number of patients that use aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) experience hypersensitivity reactions that can cause symptoms resembling asthma to appear. The disease can progress even when treatment with the drug is halted. While AERD can be treated, some patients see progression that leads to more severe lung manifestations such as bronchiectasis.

About Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis is a disease of the lung which is most characterized by the permanent enlargement of certain areas of the lung’s air passages. This illness can be both acquired or congenital. It often appears as the result of other diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and many others. Heroin, alcoholism, and inhalation of toxic gases like ammonia can also increase the risk. There are also several genetic disorders and conditions that increase the risk, such as immunodeficiency, Marfan syndrome, and Young’s syndrome. In many cases, the cause is unknown. Symptoms include coughing up mucus, lung infections, clubbed digits, wheezing, chest pain, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath. Treatments include inhaled steroids, postural drainage, antibiotics, and surgery. The exact frequency of this disease is not well known. To learn more about bronchiectasis, click here.

Study Findings

The study investigated data from a total of 149 patients with AERD. From this data, it was immediately clear that patients with bronchiectasis saw an overall longer duration of disease in comparison to other patients. Other risk factors that were identified from this data included older age, pneumonia, aspiration, infection with mycobacteria, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

Ultimately, these findings have implications for treatment, as patients with bronchiectasis have worsened lung function and are likely to need a more aggressive treatment approach. The authors recommend that patients presenting with the risk factors identified in the study should be selected for CT imaging in order to confirm a diagnosis.

Check out the original study here, which was first published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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