Bronchiectasis is often caused by recurrent inflammation or infection of the airways. It most often begins in childhood as a complication from infection or inhaling a foreign object.
Cystic fibrosis causes about a third of all bronchiectasis cases in the United States. Certain genetic conditions can also cause bronchiectasis, including primary ciliary dyskinesia and immunodeficiency syndromes.
The condition can also be caused by routinely breathing in food particles while eating.
Symptoms often develop gradually, and may occur months or years after the event that causes the bronchiectasis.
Iseman MD, Chan ED. Bronchiectasis. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus CV, Martin TR, et al. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 42.
David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.