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SynopsisChronic 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
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls