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Breathe (Sheff). 2019 Dec;15(4):286-295. doi: 10.1183/20734735.0261-2019.

Hot topics and current controversies in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.

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Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia.
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCFB) is a neglected and orphan disease with poor advances through the 20th century. However, its prevalence is rising and with this come new challenges for physicians. Few guidelines are available to guide clinicians on how to diagnose and manage patients with NCFB. Many areas of debate persist, and there is lack of consensus about research priorities most needed to advance patient care and improve clinical outcomes. In this review, we highlight the current hot topics in NCFB and present updated evidence to inform the critical areas of controversy.

Key points:

Postural drainage, active cycle of breathing techniques and pulmonary rehabilitation are non-pharmacological treatment options that should be offered to all patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCFB).Eradication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) colonisation in patients without an acute exacerbation remains debatable.Sputum cultures are the leading and most readily available tool to detect patients with chronic colonisation by PA and should be performed in all patients with NCFB.Antibacterial monoclonal antibodies and vaccine studies have shown promising results in the prevention of chronic colonisation with PA and should stimulate new studies in NCFB.NCFB patients colonised with PA are at more risk of a rapid decline in lung function, worsening quality of life and more hospital admissions.Dual therapy is a promising option for the management of patients with PA-related exacerbations.Patients with PA-related exacerbations benefit from prolonged courses of antibiotics (i.e. 14 days) but emerging and future studies, including dual therapy, may show promising results with shorter courses.Endophenotyping bronchiectasis to address its inherent heterogeneity is a promising avenue for future investment and research.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: D. Severiche-Bueno has nothing to disclose. Conflict of interest: E. Gamboa has nothing to disclose. Conflict of interest: L.F. Reyes has nothing to disclose. Conflict of interest: S.H. Chotirmall has nothing to disclose.

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