Pathophysiology On Chronic Bronchitis


Pathophysiology On Chronic Bronchitis  

Pathophysiology is defined as the study of the biological and physical manifestations of a disease. Additionally, this appendage of medical science pertains to any disturbances of body functions caused by disease. While pathology emphasizes direct observations, pathophysiology stresses quantifiable measurements.

Bronchitis is a respiratory disorder that is characterized by the swelling of the bronchial tubes of the lungs. The two types of bronchitis are acute and chronic. Each types has its unique etiology, pathology and therapy. Chronic bronchitis is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease frequently seen in chain smokers and people living in cities with high levels of air pollution. Chronic bronchitis is clinically illustrated by a constant cough with mucus for a minimum period of three months in a span of two consecutive years.

Prolonged period of inhalation of certain irritants is considered to be the initiation factor of this disease. The first apparent clinical indication of chronic bronchitis is increased secretion of mucus by submucousal glands of the trachea and bronchi. Constant exposure to the irritant causes repetitive injury to the air passage that eventually results in inflammation. The swelling of the airways leads to the penetration of the lung tissue by neutrophils. Neutrophils are white blood cells that are phagocytic in nature, which means they ingest other cells. In fact, by means of a process known as chemotaxis, neutrophils are the primary immune cells to appear at an infection site. Thereafter, these neutrophils discharge substances that enhance the mucousal secretion. As the disease progresses, the number of goblet cells also increase in the small airways. This aspect results in further generation of phlegm that worsens the blockage.

Studies reveal that in the pathogenesis of chronic bronchitis, the role of infection is rather minor. Although infection may not be an initiation factor, it plays an important role in keeping the infection going. It is this infection that is responsible for extreme bouts of bronchitis.

On physical examination, a bronchitis patient shows signs of extended expiration and decreased intensity of breath sounds. In order to detect the disease, a culture of the sputum is conducted; wherein the sputum sample of the patient is stained and analyzed. Chest X-rays are also performed to indicate the existence of chronic bronchitis.

Chronic bronchitis can result in pulmonary hypertension and chronic respiratory failure. The prognosis of the disease is not very heartening. The average survival period of an individual suffering from extreme chronic bronchitis is about four years.

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What-Is-Bronchitis      The bronchial tubes are a part of the respiratory system, and their function is to pass air from the trachea, or wind pipe, to the lungs. The air passage is lined with tiny hair like structures known as cilia. Under normal circumstances, the cilia filter and stop irritant particles from entering the lungs. More..


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