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Clinical features of chronic bronchitis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Patients with chronic obstructive airways disease may manifest features anywhere along the spectrum between being a pink puffer and a blue bloater. However, patients with chronic bronchitis may tend more towards the features of a blue bloater.

Clinical features of blue bloaters include:

  • relatively mild dyspnoea
  • loose cough and sputum - mucoid or mucopurulent
  • frequent infective exacerbations
  • often oedematous and readily lapse into right congestive heart failure
  • palpation reveals a hyperinflated chest with reduced expansion
  • percussion reveals increased resonance
  • breath sounds are reduced with end-expiratory high or low pitched wheezes and early inspiratory crackles.

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