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Chronic bronchitis
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Chronic bronchitis

Contributors: Abhijeet Waghray MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Chronic bronchitis is chronic inflammation and irritation of the lining of the bronchial airways, characterized by productive cough that lasts at least 3 months at a time during 2 consecutive years. Bronchial obstruction and restricted airflow are common; it is considered a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic bronchitis is highly associated with tobacco smoking.

Characteristic symptoms are fatigue, wheezing, and cough with thickened mucus, particularly on awakening. Other signs and symptoms include exertional dyspnea, pleuritic chest pain, apnea, and rarely hemoptysis.

Management includes smoking cessation, pharmacotherapy, oxygen to treat hypoxemia, pulmonary rehabilitation, and lung surgery (lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplant).

Related topic: Acute bronchitis


J42 – Unspecified chronic bronchitis

63480004 – Chronic Bronchitis

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Last Reviewed:02/06/2018
Last Updated:02/18/2018
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Patient Information for Chronic bronchitis
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Chronic bronchitis
A medical illustration showing key findings of Chronic bronchitis : Fatigue, Productive cough, Wheezing
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