Difference Between COPD and Bronchiectasis (With Table)

Many diseases are spreading among the population as a result of changing environmental and lifestyle factors. Bronchiectasis and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are two of them. They both have something to do with the lungs. The term “lung disorders” refers to conditions that make it difficult to breathe.

Asthma and COPD infections such as influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and lung cancer are examples of lung ailments. Some people get respiratory failure as a result of some severe diseases.

COPD vs Bronchiectasis

The main difference between COPD and Bronchiectasis is that COPD is a condition when the airspaces (alveoli) get enlarged due to tobacco smoking and harmful gasses, whereas Bronchiectasis affects the airway (bronchi) and causes inflammation. It is caused by a lung infection and lung damage. COPD can be easily prevented with a healthy lifestyle. In contrast, Bronchiectasis cannot be prevented.

COPD’s full name is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Proper treatments can both prevent and cure this sort of lung illness. They are classified as a long-term lung condition that causes dyspnea and decreases lung efficacy. COPD’s effects can worsen over time, making it difficult to carry out regular activities.

Bronchiectasis is a lung condition characterised by a persistent swelling of the lungs’ airways. This causes excruciating chest pain that lasts for a long period. Many infectious diseases, including pneumonia and tuberculosis, are caused by it. It also weakens the immune system and causes genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis can lead to Bronchiectasis in difficult situations. Patients who do not have cystic fibrosis account for around 10% to 50% of all cases.

Comparison Table Between COPD and Bronchiectasis

Parameters of Comparison




Enlargement of the airspaces (alveoli).

Inflammation of the airways (bronchi).


Breathlessness and chronic cough last for at least three months each year.

Productive cough, bleeding while coughing, severe chest pain.

Differential diagnosis

Asthma, congestive heart failure, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, obliterative bronchiolitis, diffuse panbronchiolitis

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Asbestosis, Tracheobronchomalacia


Pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, lung volume reduction

Antibiotics, bronchodilators, lung transplant

Diagnostic Method


CT Scan, radiographic imaging, laboratory testing, and lung function testing.


Tobacco smoking, air pollution, genetics

Infections, cystic fibrosis, other genetic conditions

What is COPD?

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is also known as other names like Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COLD) and chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD). There is mostly two types of condition when a person is suffering from COPD that is emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is basically classified into two types of COPD phenotypes having different symptoms.

The first most common condition of COPD is emphysema, commonly referred to as pulmonary emphysema. This is a condition in which the airspaces, also known as alveoli, expand in size. As the airspaces expand, the walls of the lungs break down, causing permanent damage to the tissue. The size of the air-filled spaces varies; they can be little or quite vast.

Chronic bronchitis is the second most prevalent complication of COPD. This is a condition in which the bronchi in the lungs become inflamed, causing coughing. They’re also known as productive coughs, which endure for at least three months every year, primarily throughout the winter. Chronic bronchitis, like emphysema, does not produce any respiratory problems in many patients.

COPD is caused by the inhalation of toxic gasses and particles, which cause irritation in the lungs. After the interaction of the host within the body, this irritation might induce inflammation in the lungs. COPD develops as a result of long-term exposure to hazardous gasses.

What is Bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a condition in which the airways of the lungs expand, making it harder for a person to breathe. Chronic coughing with mucus production is the most prevalent form of symptom that one can have. Shortness of breath, hemoptysis (blood in the cough), very severe chest pain, and wheezing are only a few of the additional symptoms.

The fundamental mechanism of this disease is the destruction of the airways as a result of the bronchi’s excessive inflammatory response. Due to the hypertrophy, the effective bronchi are unable to produce clean mucus secretion. Bacteria are produced in the lungs as a result of mucus secretions in the bronchi. The presence of too much bacteria in the airways causes obstruction and, in some circumstances, airway collapse.

Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary condition that can lead to Bronchiectasis in some situations. It is the most severe autosomal recessive disease, affecting the lungs as well as other organs such as the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and gut. Bronchitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including inhaling ammonia and other hazardous chemicals.

Respiratory failure and atelectasis are major health consequences (collapse or closure of the lungs). When there is a deficiency of oxygen flowing from the lungs into the bloodstream, respiratory failure occurs. Bronchiectasis can be prevented by avoiding infections in the lungs and lung damage, which are the leading causes of the disease.

Main Differences Between COPD and Bronchiectasis

  1. COPD is a disorder in which the airspaces (alveoli) expand, whereas Bronchiectasis is a condition in which the airways become inflamed (bronchi).
  2. Tobacco smoking, toxic gases, and particulates all contribute to COPD. , Bronchiectasis, on the other hand, is caused by lung infections and lung damage.
  3. Spirometry (which is used to evaluate the level of airway blockage after using a bronchodilator) is a diagnosis used to confirm COPD disease. Bronchiectasis, on the other hand, is diagnosed using tests such as radiographic imaging, laboratory testing, and lung function testing.
  4. COPD is not totally curable, although its symptoms can be managed or postponed with the use of medication, a healthy lifestyle, and the complete cessation of smoking. Airway clearing therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, and surgical methods can all be used to treat Bronchiectasis.
  5. COPD symptoms include dyspnea and coughing, and they can be exacerbated by anxiety, depression, and pulmonary heart disease. Bronchiectasis is a long-term condition with symptoms such as coughing up blood and chest pain.


Humans and other animals are able to survive because of oxygen. Humans can survive for one or two weeks without food, two or three days without water, but just a few seconds without oxygen. When you breathe in oxygen from the environment, it is taken into your bloodstream.

Oxyhemoglobin is formed when the oxygen molecule combines with the haemoglobin in the blood. To strengthen your lungs, avoid smoking tobacco and inhaling hazardous dust and particles. Exercising on a daily basis and incorporating yoga into your morning routine will improve the efficiency of your lungs.


  1. https://www.scielo.br/j/clin/a/37VfRqCTW3ZNFg9NXJ8JhMP/abstract/?lang=en
  2. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000045/abstract
  3. https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/54/5/1802166.short