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- Inflammation of trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles resulting from a respiratory tract infection or chemical irritant (1)
- Cough, the predominant symptom, may last as long as 10–20 days (1,2).
- Generally self-limited, with complete healing and full return of function (2)
- Most infections are viral if no underlying cardiopulmonary disease is present (2).
- Synonym(s): Tracheobronchitis; Chest cold
Can be serious, particularly if part of influenza, with underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congestive heart failure (CHF) (3)
- Usually occurs in association with other conditions of upper and lower respiratory tract (trachea usually involved) (4).
- If repeated attacks occur, child should be evaluated for anomalies of the respiratory tract, including immune deficiencies, or for chronic asthma.
- When acute bronchitis is caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), it may be fatal.
- Predominant age: All ages
- Predominant gender: Male = Female
Results in 10–12 million office visits per year (3)
- Air pollutants
- 2nd-hand smoke
- Environmental changes
- Chronic bronchopulmonary diseases
- Chronic sinusitis
- Bronchopulmonary allergy
- Hypertrophied tonsils and adenoids in children
- Immunoglobulin deficiency
- HIV infection
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
No known genetic pattern
- Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke.
- Control underlying risk factors (i.e., asthma, sinusitis, and reflux).
- Avoid exposure, especially daycare.
- Pneumovax, influenza immunization
Acute bronchitis causes an injury to the epithelial surfaces, resulting in an increase in mucous production and thickening of the bronchiole wall (1).
- Viral infections, such as adenovirus, influenza A and B, parainfluenza virus, coxsackievirus, RSV, rhinovirus, coronavirus (types 1–3), herpes simplex virus (2)
- Bacterial infections, such as Chlamydia pneumoniae (Taiwan acute respiratory [TWAR] agent), Mycoplasma, Bordetella pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (2)
- Secondary bacterial infection as part of an acute upper respiratory infection
- Possibly fungal infections
- Chemical irritants
Commonly Associated Conditions
- Allergic rhinitis
- Epiglottitis (rare, but can be rapidly fatal)