August 15, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(16):1536-1537. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690160036011

Laennec in 1819 described bronchiectasis as a clinical and pathological entity. Bronchography with the aid of iodized oil, introduced by Sicard and Forestier, added more precise knowledge of the disease in the past two decades. The condition is recognized today as a common chronic pulmonary disease, being more commonly observed than pulmonary tuberculosis. As a result of repeated attacks of bronchopneumonia, usually in childhood, chronic inflammatory changes develop in the bronchial mucosa and submucosa. These changes may lead to a state of extensive irreversible fibrosis of a segment or of an entire lobe, weakening of the bronchial wall, and stenosis of bronchi, with dilatation distal to the stenosis. Stagnation of purulent secretion, often containing anaerobic and aerobic micro-organisms, occurs in the ectatic areas distal to the stenosis. Fibrosis of parenchyma and compensatory emphysema develop.

Symptoms are those of a chronic cough, productive of purulent sputum. There may be hemoptysis, chest

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