Bronchitis ie inflammation of the bronchi is rarely used in children as it is a symptom not a diagnosis. An analogy is jaundice, a yellowing of the skin, again a symptom not a diagnosis. So a persistent wet cough which is a term that is descriptive and accurate and does not assume a reason is what I prefer to use and it is my job to find the cause. There may be many reasons, some more worrisome than others. Aspiration, gastroesophageal reflux and cystic fibrosis as examples I have discussed in other sections. One diagnosis is persistent bacterial bronchitis (PBB) a recently described entity of an otherwise well child with a persistent wet cough where standard investigations of the child are all negative and it responds to a prolonged (4 to 8 weeks) course of oral antibiotics. So it is really a diagnosis of exclusion ie what is left after excluding everything else.
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