Results of aspiration damage
Aspiration can cause damage in the lungs, thus leading to bronchiectasis. The signs of this lung damage can be seen by studying the sputum – the thick mucus that is produced by the lungs when they are damaged or diseased. “When we see certain organisms such as citrobacter or E. coli we know for sure that these organisms were translocated from the digestive tract to the airway via aspiration. In all likelihood, other organisms such as pseudomonas, NTM, and Klebsiella are also primarily acquired in the airway via this mechanism. Much more research needs to be done in this area though,” stated Dr. Huitt.