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Acute Uncomplicated Bronchitis 

Acute Uncomplicated Bronchitis
Chapter:
Acute Uncomplicated Bronchitis
Author(s):

Sarina Sahetya

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199976805.003.0029
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date: 23 October 2021

Acute bronchitis is a respiratory illness characterized predominantly by cough with or without sputum production that lasts for up to 3 weeks in the presence of normal chest radiography. Additional presenting symptoms include rhinorrhea, congestion, sneeze, sore throat, wheezing, low-grade fever, myalgia, and fatigue. Causative organisms include viral and bacterial pathogens. The disease course is characterized by self-limited inflammation of the airways. Chest radiographs should be utilized to distinguish acute bronchitis from pneumonia or interstitial disease. Therapeutic recommendations are typically supportive; however, studies reveal that between 60% and 80% of patients receive unwarranted antibiotic therapy. Only those patients at high risk for serious complications (including patients over 65 with a history of hospitalization, diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, or current use of oral glucocorticoids) usually require routine antibiotic therapy directed toward both typical and atypical bacterial pathogens.

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