Atelectasis vs Bronchiectasis: Difference and Comparison

The disease is a condition that affects a specific body organ, and when the organ gets affected, its function also gets disturbed. Therefore a person should go through a full-body checkup at least once a month.

Atelectasis and Bronchiectasis are disorders mainly associated with the breathing pipe or windpipe that is connected directly to our lungs.

Key Takeaways

  1. Atelectasis involves lung collapse or incomplete expansion, while bronchiectasis is the irreversible dilation and destruction of bronchi.
  2. Atelectasis results from airway obstruction, lung compression, or surfactant deficiency, whereas bronchiectasis arises due to chronic inflammation or infection.
  3. Treatment for atelectasis focuses on reopening airways, whereas bronchiectasis management aims to control infection, reduce inflammation, and improve mucus clearance.

Atelectasis vs Bronchiectasis

The difference between Atelectasis and Bronchiectasis is that Atelectasis is a term used for sudden damage in the lungs or collapse of the lungs, which is caused by the obstruction of the windpipe. And Bronchiectasis is a term used to describe the damage in the bronchi tissue that causes cough and releases unclear mucus.

Atelectasis vs Bronchiectasis

Persons with asthma, breathing problems, tuberculosis, and other types of lung infections can easily get affected by Atelectasis and may face severe, inoperable health-related chronic issues.

The mucus during this condition becomes infectious and develops several types of bacterial infections. And the growing number of infections can directly affect the person’s immunity system.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAtelectasisBronchiectasis
DefinitionAtelectasis is instant damage that happens especially in the lungs area and in the airway wall or bronchi area. Bronchiectasis as the name describes mainly happens in the bronchi wall and affects the mucus flow through the wall.
Mucus development Atelectasis does not change the function of the mucus and its development. Bronchiectasis is only focused on mucus development and damages its functions.
Symptoms The symptoms of this disorder include shallow breathing, cough, difficulty in breathing, etc. The symptoms of this disorder include color-changing mucus, coughing, fever, and shortness of breath, etc.
TreatmentIn Atelectasis bronchoscopy and inhalers are suggested. In Bronchiectasis condition taking antibiotics are mostly suggested.
Bacterial DevelopmentAtelectasis does not contribute to bacterial development. Bronchiectasis develops bacterial infections in the mucus itself.
Duration of diseasesAtelectasis, if mild can go away easily with proper medications. Bronchiectasis can become a chronic disorder, but mostly it lasts for about fourteen days.

What is Atelectasis?

Atelectasis happens to a person when their air sacs or airway wall does not enlarge as they do. And is mainly a condition that targets the human lungs.

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Lungs are the organs that help us take oxygen and release carbon dioxide, which is the basic process of the human body. There are two lungs in the human body, and they are directly attached to a windpipe or airway wall.

This problem can also happen to people who go through the anaesthesia process during any surgery or operation because this process directly affects the working of the lungs.

What is Bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis causes an increase in the flow of the mucus, and the mucus becomes thicker than usual. Also, the color of the mucus becomes viscous dark green, and due to its hardness, its flow through the bronchi wall becomes tough.

The passage of the bronchi walls becomes thicker due to the collection of mucus in them, which makes the inhaling and exhaling process resilient.

Deadly diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia may also happen to a person having Bronchiectasis, as it makes the immune system fragile and, due to this, the disease-fighting capacity of a person decreases.

Main Differences Between Atelectasis and Bronchiectasis

  1. The symptoms of Bronchiectasis disorder include color-changing mucus, coughing, fever, shortness of breath, etc. And the symptoms of Atelectasis disorder include shallow breathing, cough, difficulty in breathing, etc.
  2. Atelectasis does not change the function of the mucus and its development. Whereas, Bronchiectasis is only focused on mucus development and damages its functions.
Difference Between Atelectasis and Bronchiectasis
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1526054200900599
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmra012519

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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