Introduction: Bronchiectasis is increasingly recognized as a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It affects children of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds and represents a far greater burden than cystic fibrosis (CF). Bronchiectasis often begins in childhood and the radiological changes can be reversed, when mild, with optimal management. As there are limited pediatric studies in this field, current treatment approaches in children are based largely upon adult and/or CF studies. The recent establishment of bronchiectasis registries will improve understanding of pediatric bronchiectasis and increase capacity for large-scale research studies in the future.
Areas covered: This review summarizes the current management of bronchiectasis in children and highlights important knowledge gaps and areas for future research. Current treatment approaches are based largely on consensus guidelines from international experts in the field. Studies were identified through searching Medline via the Ovid interface and Pubmed using the search terms ‘bronchiectasis’ and ‘children’ or ‘pediatric’ and ‘management’ or ‘treatments’.
Expert opinion: Bronchiectasis is heterogeneous in nature and a one-size-fits-all approach has limitations. Future research should focus on advancing our understanding of the aetiopathogenesis of bronchiectasis. This approach will facilitate development of targetted therapeutic interventions to slow, halt or even reverse bronchiectasis in childhood.