Imaging

Bronchiectasis

Preliminary Diagnosis: Bronchiectasis

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

  • Chest radiograph: PA and lateral views

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosis of bronchiectasis.

Advantages

  • Relatively inexpensive and fast imaging modality

  • Highly portable

  • Exposes the patient to minimal ionizing radiation

Disadvantages

  • Less sensitive and specific in locating the anatomical location and type of bronchiectasis compared to CT

  • Less adept in evaluating for any underlying pulmonary process or secondary complications compared to CT

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

No specific contraindications to plain radiography exist.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

High-resolution CT of the chest without contrast

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosis of bronchiectasis.

High-resolution CT of the chest without contrast

Advantages

  • Highly specific and sensitive in diagnosing bronchiectasis, detailing the anatomic location, and type of bronchiectasis

  • Better adept on detailing any underlying or complicating pulmonary process

Disadvantages

  • Exposes the patients to ionizing radiation

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

High-resolution CT of the chest without contrast

May be contraindicated in pregnant patients

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