Purpose of review: Pulmonary exacerbations are key events in the natural history of bronchiectasis given their impact on quality of life, prognosis, and their contribution to healthcare costs. Preventing and managing exacerbations is a priority for clinicians and in this review, we discuss measures that should be utilized to achieve this aim.
Recent findings: Experts have proposed a focus on phenotyping and endotyping the bronchiectasis population to overcome the heterogeneity of this condition. Recent large studies of inhaled antibiotics and smaller studies of macrolides, which included exacerbation measures as their primary outcomes, have drawn further attention to this issue.
Summary: Exacerbations are currently treated with prolonged antibiotic treatment (10-14 days). Prevention of exacerbations requires a multidisciplinary approach which includes optimising airway clearance and treating underlying conditions. Patients who continue to experience exacerbations despite these measures may be offered chronic macrolide therapy or additional therapies based on identified treatable traits.
- managing exacerbations
- preventing exacerbations