In non-CF bronchiectasis

Each exacerbation destroys more of your patient

Bronchiectasis is a chronic, cyclical condition in which the walls of the bronchi are thickened from inflammation and infection. Although there are multiple types of bronchiectasis, this website deals exclusively with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis, referred to as non-CF bronchiectasis throughout the site.1

With non-CF bronchiectasis, each exacerbation takes an increasing toll on patients because it leads to significantly worsened symptoms and impaired quality of life. The disease is driven by underlying lung infections, with approximately 30% of patients infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, resulting in more frequent exacerbations, airway damage, and increased hospitalizations.2-7

A vicious cycle of destruction

Non-CF bronchiectasis is defined by abnormal dilation of the airways and is typically associated with progressive airway destruction due to a vicious cycle of recurrent bacterial infection, inflammatory mediator release, airway damage, and consequent further infection.8

Non-CF bronchiectasis graphic showing the cycle of airway destruction

More and more patients are suffering

The number of people diagnosed with non-CF bronchiectasis continues to rise. Studies show an annual increase of 9% in the United States every year from 2000 to 2007 and a predicted 10% increase throughout the European Union from 2012 to 2020, as well as increasing incidence and prevalence worldwide.9,10

in the United States10*
in the European Union10*
3.1 million globally10*

Every exacerbation comes at a cost

In addition to progressive airway damage, exacerbations may also require hospitalization. Of those patients hospitalized with non-CF bronchiectasis:

had 1 hospitalization12
had 2 hospitalizations12
had 3 or more hospitalizations12

To learn more about the destruction caused by non-CF bronchiectasis exacerbations and the pathogens that lead to infections, click the links below.

See the impact of exacerbations 
Explore the underlying pathogens 


Raising recognition and taking action

Through raising awareness of non-CF bronchiectasis, among both patients and physicians, time to diagnosis and treatment can be expedited to help prevent exacerbations and further damage.


It is really important for doctors on the front lines to recognize, refer, and/or evaluate patients with signs of the disease [non-CF bronchiectasis]. 

Get more insight into diagnosing non-CF bronchiectasis from Dr. Pamela J. McShane.

Dr. McShane is a pulmonologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She has specialized in researching and treating non-CF bronchiectasis for more than 16 years.



  1. British Thoracic Society Bronchiectasis (non-CF) Guideline Group. Guideline for non-CF bronchiectasis. Thorax. 2010;65(suppl):17-158.
  2. Yap VL, Metersky ML. New therapeutic options for noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2015;28(2):171-176.
  3. Yang JW, Fan LC, Lu HW, Miao XY, Mao B, Xu JF. Efficacy and safety of long-term inhaled antibiotic for patients with noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis: a meta-analysis. Clin Respir J. 2016;10(6):731-739.
  4. Aksamit TR, O'Donnell AE, Barker A, et al. Adult bronchiectasis patients: a first look at the United States bronchiectasis research registry. Chest. 2017;151(5):982-992.
  5. McDonnell MJ, Jary HR, Perry A, et al. Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis: a longitudinal retrospective observational cohort study of Pseudomonas persistence and resistance. Respir Med. 2015;109:716-726.
  6. Finch S, McDonnell MJ, Abo-Leyah H, Aliberti S, Chalmers JD. A comprehensive analysis of the impact of Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonization on prognosis in adult bronchiectasis. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015;12:1602-1611.
  7. Welsh EJ, Evans DJ, Fowler SJ, Spencer S. Interventions for bronchiectasis: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2015: 7.
  8. Cole P. The damaging role of bacteria in chronic lung infection. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1997;40(suppl A):5-10.
  9. Seitz AE, Oliver KN, Adjemian J, Holland SM, Prevots DR. Trends in bronchiectasis among Medicare beneficiaries in the United States, 2000 to 2007. Chest. 2012;142(2):432-439.
  10. Polverino E, Cacheris W, Spencer C, Operschall E, O'Donnell AE. Global burden of non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis: a simple epidemiological analysis. Poster 3983. Presented at ERS 2012.
  11. Aksamit TR, Choate R, O'Donnell AE, et al. United States Bronchiectasis Registry longitudinal follow-up at two years. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017;195:A7304.
  12. Seitz AE, Olivier KN, Steiner CA, et al. Trends and burden of bronchiectasis-associated hospitalizations in the United States, 1993-2006. Chest. 2010;138:944-949.