Pathophysiology And Risk Factors And Diagnostic Techniques For Stage Iv Chronic Bronchitis

1811 WordsNov 24, 20148 Pages
Pathophysiology/Risk factors and Diagnostic Techniques for Stage IV Chronic Bronchitis: Chronic bronchitis, the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, is a main component of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) that is characterized by airflow limitation that is irreversible. Clinically chronic bronchitis is defined as prolonged inflammation of the bronchi and bronchioles that leads to insistent coughing and overproduction of mucus recurrently for at least three months per year, two years in a row (Mannino, 2002). Inflammation decreases the diameter of both the bronchi and bronchioles and consequently makes breathing much more challenging. Smoking is the number one risk factor of chronic bronchitis. According to the…show more content…
There are several diagnostic techniques used to determine if an individual is suffering from chronic bronchitis and the severity of disease. The severity of chronic bronchitis can be determined and classified as mild, moderate, severe, or very severe by the utilization of pulmonary function tests. Evaluation of airflow obstruction with forced expiratory spirometry is a diagnostic technique that is commonly employed. Using spirometry, stage IV, very severely progressed chronic bronchitis, will result in a FEV1.0/ FVC ratio less than .70 and a FEV1.0 less than 30 percent of the patients predicted FEV1.0. (Medicine, 2014). Other diagnostic techniques may include a chest radiograph, which is used to determine if there are any other underlying conditions that could be causing chronic coughing, such as pneumonia. Taking a sample of blood from an artery to test the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide is a useful technique as well. Someone with very severe chronic bronchitis will have low oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide in their blood (American Thoracic Society, 1995). A physician may also implement an electrocardiography (ECG) to test the function of the heart to conclude if a heart illness is causing shortness of breath. A chronic cough that produces excessive amounts of mucus, severe exacerbations and dyspnea, unhealthy weight loss, edema of the inferior extremities, and cyanosis are all
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