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Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia

Print version ISSN 1806-3713On-line version ISSN 1806-3756


NUCCI, Maria Cecília Nieves Maiorano de et al. Characterization of the severity of dyspnea in patients with bronchiectasis: correlation with clinical, functional, and tomographic aspects. J. bras. pneumol. [online]. 2020, vol.46, n.5, e20190162.  Epub June 15, 2020. ISSN 1806-3756.


To characterize a population of patients with bronchiectasis, correlating clinical, radiological, and functional aspects with the severity of dyspnea.


This was a cross-sectional study involving adult patients with HRCT-confirmed bronchiectasis, categorized according to the severity of dyspnea (as being mildly or severely symptomatic, on the basis of the modified Medical Research Council scale). We correlated the severity of dyspnea with clinical parameters, functional parameters (spirometry values, lung volumes, and DLCO), and CT parameters.


We evaluated 114 patients, 47 (41%) of whom were men. The median age (interquartile range) was 42 years (30-55 years). The most common form was idiopathic bronchiectasis. Of the 114 patients, 20 (17.5%) were colonized with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 59 (51.8%) were under continuous treatment with macrolides. When we applied the Exacerbation in the previous year, FEV1, Age, Colonization, Extension, and Dyspnea score, the severity of dyspnea was categorized as moderate in 54 patients (47.4%), whereas it was categorized as mild in 50 (43.9%) when we applied the Bronchiectasis Severity Index. The most common lung function pattern was one of obstruction, seen in 95 patients (83.3%), and air trapping was seen in 77 patients (68.7%). The prevalence of an obstructive pattern on spirometry was higher among the patients with dyspnea that was more severe, and most functional parameters showed reasonable accuracy in discriminating between levels of dyspnea severity.


Patients with bronchiectasis and dyspnea that was more severe had greater functional impairment. The measurement of lung volumes complemented the spirometry data. Because bronchiectasis is a complex, heterogeneous condition, a single variable does not seem to be sufficient to provide an overall characterization of the clinical condition.

Keywords : Bronchiectasis; Dyspnea; Respiratory function tests; Multidetector computed tomography; Plethysmography.

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