Bronchiectasis and autoimmune disease

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The association between bronchiectasis and autoimmune disease is well recognised, and best described with rheumatoid arthritis. The prevalence of bronchiectasis in rheumatoid arthritis varies considerably in studies, with obliterative bronchiolitis a common feature. The prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis with bronchiectasis seems to be worse than either condition alone. The advent of high-resolution computed tomography has increased the sensitivity of detecting bronch- iectasis, but this should be assessed for clinical significance. Traction bronchiectasis results from interstitial fibrosis pulling the airway wider, rather than damage weakening the bronchial wall, and is less likely to lead to bronchial suppuration. Bronchial wall damage in bronchiectasis is caused by inflam- mation, but it is difficult to differentiate damage caused by severe or recurrent infections, predisposed to by immunosup- pression related to the autoimmune disease itself or its treatment, from damage caused by the autoimmune process. Increased use of new immunomodulatory or immunosuppres- sive agents has proved successful in modifying autoimmune disease processes, but has also led to emergence of infective complications that can cause bronchiectasis or exacerbate pre-existing disease.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Respiratory Monograph
Subtitle of host publicationBronchiectasis
EditorsRA Floto, CS Haworth
PublisherEuropean Respiratory Society
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)1025-448x.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

Publication series



Dive into the research topics of 'Bronchiectasis and autoimmune disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this