A new center dedicated to the treatment and care of bronchiectasis and related mycobacterial infection, is open at the UNC Pulmonary Specialty Clinic at Meadowmont, in Chapel Hill, N.C. The UNC Center for Bronchiectasis Care offers diagnosis, treatment, and long-term support.
Under the leadership of co-directors Drs. Peadar Noone and Leigh Anne Daniels, the expert team includes adult CF (cystic fibrosis) clinical specialist Jennifer Dane and Dr.Michael Knowles, a professor of medicine.
In a press release, Noone, a professor at UNC’s division of pulmonary diseases and critical care, described bronchiectasis as a chronic respiratory infection characterized mainly by a productive cough that brings mucus from the respiratory tract, among other symptoms. It is considered an ‘orphan disease’ – one that is uncommon enough to attract little research or overwhelming concern.
“Delivery of good care to these patients is often fragmented and sub-optimal,” Noone said in a press release.
But recent novel research has suggested that bronchiectasis is actually more common than previously considered.
“It is very probable that there are tens of thousands of people in the US who are affected by bronchiectasis, many of whom are incorrectly diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, or other conditions,” Noone said.
Noone hopes that the new UNC Center sparks a renewed interest in the field among clinicians and researchers worldwide. He believes the U.S. Bronchiectasis Registry, of which UNC is a founding partner, will help to achieve this goal.
Other consultants collaborating on the project include Dr. Claire Farel, in the division of infectious disease; Dr. Katherine Birchard, in the department of radiology; Drs. Ben Haithcock, MD, and Jason Long, in cardiothoracic surgery; Dr. Maya Jerath, in the division of allergy, immunology, and rheumatology; Drs. Brent Senior, Charles Ebert, Adam Zanation and Brian Thorp in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery; and Peter Gilligan, Ph.D., in the departments of microbiology and immunology, and pathology and laboratory medicine.
“Our hope is to provide a multi-disciplinary team based approach to the care of these patients, to provide this community of patients with the best care possible, so they can experience a better quality of life,” Noone said.
TheUNC Center for Bronchiectasis Care website provides more information about the clinic and the team; and important facts to educate patients about bronchiectasis and mycobacterial lung infections – its symptoms, causes, and treatments.