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Prim Care Respir J. 2011 Jun;20(2):135-40. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2011.00007.

Primary care summary of the British Thoracic Society Guideline on the management of non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.

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  • 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Infirmary and University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


The British Thoracic Society (BTS) has recently published a guideline for the management of non-cystic fibrosis (non-CF) bronchiectasis in children and adults. This paper summarises the key recommendations applicable to the primary care setting. The key points are: • Think of the diagnosis of bronchiectasis in adults and children who present with a chronic productive cough or unexplained haemoptysis, and in children with asthma which responds poorly to treatment; • High resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scanning is needed to confirm the diagnosis • Sputum culture should be obtained at the start of an exacerbation prior to initiating treatment with antibiotics; Treatment should be started whilst awaiting the sputum result and should be continued for 14 days; • Patients with bronchiectasis have significant morbidity. Management in primary care is aimed at improving morbidity, and includes; patient education, treatment and monitoring, as well as appropriate referral to secondary care including assessment for long term antibiotics.

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