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Natural History of Bronchiectasis

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified March 31, 2017 by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) ) Identifier:
First received: July 21, 2009
Last updated: April 21, 2017
Last verified: March 31, 2017


  • Bronchiectasis is a disease characterized by airways that are inflamed, abnormally dilated, and chronically infected. Individuals with bronchiectasis have a history of chronic and recurring respiratory infections. Depending on the underlying cause, these infections may involve the entire respiratory tract, resulting in sinus, ear, and lung disease.
  • Bronchiectasis continues to be a significant problem in developing countries and in specific groups of individuals, particularly in people who have cystic fibrosis. Although treatments are available or under development for bronchiectasis related to cystic fibrosis, many of the disease-specific treatments may not be effective for bronchiectasis not related to cystic fibrosis.


- To study the natural history of bronchiectasis to identify inherited and immune factors that may explain why certain individuals have chronic recurring infections.


  • Individuals 5 years of age and older who have an established diagnosis of bronchiectasis or a history of chronic/recurring respiratory infections.
  • Direct family members (e.g., parents, siblings, children) of patients in the study may also be asked to participate.


  • Potential participants will be screened with an initial clinic evaluation and full medical history, as well as a general quality of life and respiratory symptom questionnaire.
  • The following standard procedures may be done as part of the study: air sampling from the nose; imaging studies, which may include an x-ray or computed tomography (CT), lung function tests; and collection of samples of blood, urine, and sputum (phlegm or mucus). Other tests may be performed as required by the researchers, and will be explained to patients as needed.
  • Both patients and relatives (if asked to participate) will provide the following samples: blood or buccal (cheek swab) cells for genetic testing, sputum, and urine.
  • To prevent infections and potential disease progression, patients may receive standard medical care and treatment for bronchiectasis and related infections during this protocol.
  • Patients older than 18 years of age will be invited to join the Bronchiectasis Research Registry, a program supported by the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Foundation. The purpose of the program is to identify a group of people who are interested in receiving information about research studies focused on bronchiectasis and possibly participating in these research studies. Participants may be offered the opportunity to participate in selected clinic trials related to bronchiectasis or related medical conditions.

Cystic Fibrosis
Autoimmune Disease
Common Variable Immunodeficiency

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Other
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Natural History of Bronchiectasis & Bronchiectasis Patient Registry

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • We will document the presence of underlying associated conditions such as a. Variant cystic fibrosis, b. Primary ciliary dyskinesia, c. Common variable immunodeficiency, d. Allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis, e. Autoimmune disease, Autoimmune dis... [ Time Frame: 10 years ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Assessment of genetic, systemic immune, and/or epithelial surface defense mechanisms involved in airway infection susceptibility and/or in the development of bronchiectasis through the:a)Collection and storage of blood and sputumb)Use and ... [ Time Frame: 10 years ]

Estimated Enrollment: 900
Study Start Date: July 20, 2009
Detailed Description:

Bronchiectasis, or abnormal dilation of the airways, is a condition typically characterized by chronic and recurring respiratory tract infections. Frequently, depending on the underlying cause, these infections involve the entire respiratory tract resulting in sinus, ear, and lung disease. This condition used to be more common in children prior to immunizations for childhood infections. It continues to be a significant problem in developing countries and in specific groups of individuals in the U.S. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most commonly associated genetic condition and tremendous strides have been made in recent years in understanding the mechanisms of this disease that are leading to a multitude of emerging novel treatment strategies. The mechanisms of other causes for bronchiectasis have not evolved to this degree, and many of the disease-specific treatments being assessed for cystic fibrosis may not be effective for non-CF bronchiectasis. Often bronchiectasis can be associated with chronic infections from environmental germs such as the nontuberculous mycobacteria.

This protocol is aimed at exploring associated causes and mechanisms for the development of bronchiectasis in patients with chronic and recurring respiratory tract infections. Participants will undergo testing based on their individual clinical presentations to look for known associated conditions. Additionally, some patients may be followed over time to better understand the natural history of evolving bronchiectasis and to assess the effect of management strategies on the course of the disease and on their chronic infections like the nontuberculous mycobacteria. As potential novel therapies develop, participants may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical treatment trials.


Ages Eligible for Study:   5 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

    1. Children age 5 years and above and adults referred to the NIH with chronic or recurring respiratory infections will be eligible for participation.
    2. Males and females will be considered without regard to race or ethnicity or upper age limit.
    3. Emphasis will be primarily on non CF bronchiectasis for elucidation of mechanisms of infection susceptibility. However, select patients with cystic fibrosis or acquired immune defects (such as HIV) may be studied if relevant host defects are suspected or if needed for comparison purposes or to evaluate and study the management of chronic pathogen associated conditions such as nontuberculous mycobacterial infections or allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
    4. Subjects must have a primary or referring physician
    5. Subjects must be willing to have samples stored


As a part of this protocol we may obtain blood, sputum, urine, or buccal swabs from some blood relatives of patients on the study, with the hope of isolating and characterizing the primary host defense defect(s) or genetic links responsible for airway infection susceptibility and/or bronchiectasis seen within families. Male and female relatives will be accepted without limitation due to age. These relatives may have pertinent disease-related history obtained, but will neither receive treatment nor have any other protocol procedures done unless they are enrolled on the study.


  1. We wish to avoid enrolling subjects, especially children, who have common respiratory problems (aeroallergen sensitivity, asthma, gastric esophageal reflux) that are not associated with an underlying abnormality in host defenses. Evidence of significance of chronic or recurring infections suggestive of an underlying airway surface or systemic host defense defect should be documented by one or more of the following: a) sinus or lower airway cultures positive for bacterial, fungal, or mycobacterial pathogens characteristic of these defects; or b) radiographic evidence of sinusitis with mucosal thickening and/or air-fluid levels; or c) radiographic evidence of bronchiectasis; d) severity of otitis media requiring placement of tympanic membrane pressure equalization tubes; e) severity of sinusitis requiring surgical intervention.
  2. Patients who are unable or unwilling to provide informed consent either directly or via appropriately designated surrogate.
  3. Any patient who, in the opinion of the Investigator, is unable or unwilling to comply with regular follow-up or is unlikely to provide pertinent information regarding disease progression or response to treatment may be excluded from longitudinal follow-up.
  4. Children under the age of 5 will be excluded from this protocol.

When a pediatric subject reaches age 18, continued participation will require reconsenting with the adult consent document.

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00943514

Contact: Chevalia Robinson, R.N. (301) 496-3973

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL)    800-411-1222 ext TTY8664111010   
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Principal Investigator: Kenneth N Olivier, M.D. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Identifier: NCT00943514     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 090172
Study First Received: July 21, 2009
Last Updated: April 21, 2017

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia
Variant Cystic Fibrosis
Bronchopulmonary Mycosis
Airway Infection Susceptibility
Chronic Respiratory Infection

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cystic Fibrosis
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Autoimmune Diseases
Common Variable Immunodeficiency
Pathologic Processes
Pancreatic Diseases
Digestive System Diseases
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Infant, Newborn, Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Bronchial Diseases processed this record on April 27, 2017