Synonym:—Dilatation of the bronchial tubes.
Definition:—A dilatation involving the structure of the bronchial tube, usually cylindrical or fusiform in character. The dilatation may be local or it may be universal.
Etiology:—It arises from coexistence of a chronic disease in the bronchial structure with a severe, long continued constitutional diathesis. It follows chronic bronchitis or phthisis more commonly than other conditions. It is immediately induced by violent paroxysms of cough.
Symptomatology:—The symptoms are usually those of the disease which has caused the condition. Cough is always present and is usually paroxysmal but the paroxysms are greatly prolonged, and produce much exhaustion and are accompanied with free, usually profuse expectoration. This is of a characteristic color—generally a dirty brownish tinge, muco purulent or positively purulent and emitting an offensive, sometimes disgusting stench. Upon standing, this expectoration separates into strata; there is a heavy sediment of thick mucus and pus cells. Above this is a thin, serum-like, fluid sero-mucus, and on the top of this flui'l is a frothy substance of a brown color. This offensive discharge may also be mixed with blood in small quantity, or it may be accompanied with severe hemoptysis.
Prognosis:—The condition is not usually fatal but it is not amenable to treatment. Treatment of the underlying constitutional conditions will produce great relief.
Treatment:—The condition of fetor can be entirely relieved by internal antiseptic treatment. The underlying congestion and local irritation can be benefited by the use of belladonna, ipecac or lobelia and bryonia. The iodid or the chlorid of ammonium are of some service in the treatment of this condition. In a general way, the same course should be adopted as is prescribed for chronic bronchitis.