Traction bronchiectasis

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 12 Oct 2021

Traction bronchiectasis (plural: bronchiectases) refers to an etiological subtype of bronchiectasis where there is irreversible dilatation of bronchi and bronchioles within areas of pulmonary fibrosis or distorted lung parenchymal architecture.

The term "traction bronchiolectasis" is also used to refer to the same phenomenon when it involves the bronchioles rather than the bronchi. Often traction bronchiectasis and bronchiolectasis coexist.

It can arise from a number of underlying causes which result in lung fibrosis. The bronchus is pulled apart by the traction of surrounding parenchymal fibrosis. 

There may be a predilection for the upper lobes where there is less supporting cartilage 1.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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