Acute bronchitis natural history

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Seyedmahdi Pahlavani, M.D. [2]

Overview

Acute bronchitis is a self limited respiratory disease with an excellent prognosis which resolves within two weeks in majority of patients.

Natural History

If left untreated, acute bronchitis usually resolves within 2 weeks although it may last up to 2 months.[1][2]

Complications

The most common complication of acute bronchitis is persistent cough that my last for 6 weeks.[3] Rarely, in patients with immunosuppression or other debilitating disease, pneumonia occurs as a complication.[4]

Prognosis

Prognosis is generally excellent and most of patients recover after 5-10 days.[3] Recurrent episodes of acute bronchitis in subsequent years occur in 20% of patients.[4]

References

  1. Gonzales R, Sande MA (2000). "Uncomplicated acute bronchitis". Ann. Intern. Med. 133 (12): 981–91. PMID 11119400. 
  2. Landau LI (2006). "Acute and chronic cough". Paediatr Respir Rev. 7 Suppl 1: S64–7. PMID 16798599. doi:10.1016/j.prrv.2006.04.172. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wenzel RP, Fowler AA (2006). "Clinical practice. Acute bronchitis". N. Engl. J. Med. 355 (20): 2125–30. PMID 17108344. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp061493. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Albert RH (2010). "Diagnosis and treatment of acute bronchitis". Am Fam Physician. 82 (11): 1345–50. PMID 21121518. 

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