Bronchiectasis has been defined by Dorland1 as "dilatation of the bronchi or a bronchus." The disease, however, cannot be defined so simply. As J. A. Miller2 stated: "It is only when such dilatation is accompanied by failure of adequate drainage facilities for the normal secretions and inflammatory exudates that the actual picture of the disease presents itself." Bronchiectasis must be distinguished also from congenital cystic disease of the lungs; in the latter dilatation of the bronchi exists, but the cavities so formed have lost their connections with the tracheobronchial tree. Further, though bronchiectasis may progress to actual formation of a pulmonary abscess, it may also develop as the result of such an abscess. For this reason, it is often difficult to differentiate between the two diseases.
In 1819 Laennec3 described bronchiectasis for the first time in his book "De l'auscultation médiate." He recounted two cases, one in an adult, the
FERGUSON GB. BRONCHIECTASIS IN CHILDRENWITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO PREVENTION. Arch Otolaryngol. 1937;25(4):430–441. doi:10.1001/archotol.1937.00650010484007