Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes
2) asthmatic bronchitis, bronchitis
which causes or aggravates bronchospasm.
3) chronic bronchitis, a condition of
the bronchial tree characterized by cough, hypersecretion of mucus,
and expectoration of sputum over a long period of time, associated
with frequent bronchial infection; usually due to inhalation, over a
prolonged period, of air contaminated by dust or by noxious gases of
4) Acute bronchitis is usually a short,
severe illness that may show up along with a cold or follow other
viral infections such as measles or whooping cough.
Chronic bronchitis cannot be diagnosed radiologically.
Although findings such as increased lung markings or tubular
opacities, bronchial wall cuffing (thickening) can be seen with
bronchitis, they are nonspecific.
The main reason for getting a chest X-ray is to exclude other
conditions, such as bronchiectasis, which can mimic the disease
The top left illustration shows the
normal pulmonary tree, while the lower right illustration at the
bottom shows what happens during an attack of bronchitis. The
inflammation of the bronchi and bronchial tubes produces a
buildup of mucus. The thickened mucus forms a plug that can
block bronchial tubes, the passages that carry air from the
trachea (windpipe) to the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs. This
results in the difficult breathing characteristic of bronchitis.
Bronchitis is a condition which is clinically defined as a
chronic cough with mucus production most months of the year. The
mucus secretions and inflammation in the bronchi tend to narrow the
airways and provide an obstacle to airflow, thus increasing the
resistance of the airways. In this manner bronchitis may cause
obstructive pulmonary symptoms.
Routine antibiotic treatment of uncomplicated acute bronchitis is
not recommended, regardless of duration of cough. If pertussis
infection is suspected (an unusual circumstance), a diagnostic test
should be performed and antimicrobial therapy initiated