Chalmers JD, Aliberti S, Blasi F.

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Journal Ref: Eur Respir J. 2015 Mar 18. pii: ERJ-01191-2014. [Epub ahead of print]

Formerly regarded as a rare disease, bronchiectasis is now increasingly recognised and a renewed interest in the condition is stimulating drug development and clinical research. Bronchiectasis represents the final common pathway of a number of infectious, genetic, autoimmune, developmental and allergic disorders and is highly heterogeneous in its aetiology, impact and prognosis. The goals of therapy should be: to improve airway mucus clearance through physiotherapy with or without adjunctive therapies; to suppress, eradicate and prevent airway bacterial colonisation; to reduce airway inflammation; and to improve physical functioning and quality of life. Fortunately, an increasing body of evidence supports interventions in bronchiectasis. The field has benefited greatly from the introduction of evidence-based guidelines in some European countries and randomised controlled trials have now demonstrated the benefit of long-term macrolide therapy, with accumulating evidence for inhaled therapies, physiotherapy and pulmonary rehabilitation. This review provides a critical update on the management of bronchiectasis focussing on emerging evidence and recent randomised controlled trials.