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Bronchitis, Acute

Ashlee N. Russo, MD, Alan Cropp, MD, FCCP and Ghazaleh Bigdeli, MD, FCCP Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Inflammation of trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles resulting from a respiratory tract infection or chemical irritant (1)

  • Cough, the predominant symptom, may last as long as 3 weeks (2,...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Onset of cough for >5 days and no evidence of pneumonia, asthma, exacerbation of COPD (3)

  • Cough is initially dry and nonproductive, then productive; later, mucopurulent sputum, whic...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Outpatient treatment unless elderly or complicated by severe underlying disease

  • Rest

  • Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.

  • Steam inhalations

  • Vaporizers

  • Adequate hydration

  • Antitu...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW UP RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Usually a self-limited disease not requiring follow-up

  • Cough may linger for several weeks.

  • In children, if recurrent, need to consider other diagnoses, such as asth...

REFERENCES

1
1 Wenzel RP, Fowler AAIII. Clinical practice. Acute bronchitis. N Engl J Med.  2006;355(20):2125–2130. {L-End} {L-End} [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
2 Albert RH. Diagnosis and tre...

SEE ALSO

  • Asthma; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Emphysema

  • Algorithm: Cough, Chronic

CODES

ICD10

  • J20.9 Acute bronchitis, unspecified

  • J68.0 Bronchitis and pneumonitis due to chemicals, gases, fumes and vapors

  • B97.0 Adenovirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere

  • J20.1 Acute bronch...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Acute bronchitis is a common and generally self-limited disease.

  • It usually does not require treatment with antibiotics. This needs to be explained to patients who expect antibiotics to...

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