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Bronchiectasis H004

Last amended 
18 April 2017

In this section

Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis
30 of 2017
Balance of Probabilities
31 of 2017
Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 196

ICD Coding:
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 494
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: J47
Breif description

Bronchiectasis is a chronic lung disease in which the airways (bronchi and bronchioles) are damaged and enlarged.  It results from chronic inflammation and an inability to clear sputum.  It may affect a section of lung or be widespread.  It is assocaited with recurrent infections and gradual loss of lung function.

Confirming the diagnosis

The diagnosis is made based on the clinical and radiological findings.

The relevant medical specialist is a respiratory physician.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Bronchiolectasis
  • Traction bronchiectasis
  • Tuberculous bronchiectasis
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • Congenital bronchiectasis#, ICD-9 code 748.61
  • Bronchiectasis associated with cystic fibrosis (ICD-9 code 277.0) or alpha-1-anti-trypsin deficiency (ICD-9 code 277.6) or other genetic disorders#.

# non-SOP condition

Clinical onset

Establishing the clinical onset may be difficult.  Bronchiectasis takes time to develop and there may be respiratroy symptoms prior to the development of the disease.  Backdating onset to before the first radiological evidence of the condition can be done, based on symptoms of chronic daily cough with production of mucopurulent and tenacious sputum.  Dyspnea (shortness of breath), hemoptysis (coughing blood), wheezing, and pleuritic chest pain can occur but are less specific to bronchiectasis.

Clinical worsening

Bronchiectasis tends to have a progressive course with periodic exacerbations.