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Bronchitis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Hyperemia and edema of the mucous membranes
  • Production of mucopurulent exudates
  • Impairment of the productive function of the cilia, lymphatics, and phagocytes
  • Airway obstruction from:
    • Edema
    • Secretions
    • Bronchial muscle spasm


  • Viral infections are the primary cause of bronchitis:
    • Parainfluenza
    • Influenza A and B
    • Respiratory syncytial virus
    • Human metapneumovirus
    • Echovirus
    • Coronavirus
    • Adenovirus
    • Coxsackievirus
    • Rhinovirus
    • Measles and herpes viruses (can cause severe viral bronchitis)
  • Particularly severe or long-lasting bronchitis:
    • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
    • Chlamydia pneumoniae
    • Bordetella pertussis:
      • Rates of pertussis are increasing, even in the fully immunized population (little protection remains after 10 yr).
  • Other bacteria have not been conclusively proven to cause bronchitis except in those with chronic lung disease.

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Bronchitis." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307296/6.2/Bronchitis.
Bronchitis. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307296/6.2/Bronchitis. Accessed June 25, 2019.
Bronchitis. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307296/6.2/Bronchitis
Bronchitis [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 June 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307296/6.2/Bronchitis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Bronchitis ID - 307296 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307296/6.2/Bronchitis PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -