As a result of research analyses using computed tomography (CT), researchers have identified that bronchiectasis often accompanies COPD between 20% to 69% of the time in patients.

Scientists in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China, conducted a comprehensive review of all studies published until August 2014 that examined patient characteristics of people living with both COPD and bronchiectasis.

Using data from six observational studies with a total of 881 patients, researchers identified bronchiectasis prevalence in patients with COPD was 54.3%, with a range of 25.6% to 69%. Bronchiectasis and COPD were more frequently found in male patients with a longer history of smoking.

People with both COPD and comorbid bronchiectasis had more daily production of sputum, more frequent exacerbation (increase in symptoms), poorer lung function, more inflammatory biomarkers, more chronic bacterial infection, including the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

“Coexistence of bronchiectasis should be considered a pathological phenotype of COPD, which may have a predictive value,” the researchers concluded.