UNC Center for Bronchiectasis Care begins serving patients in Chapel Hill

Located in the UNC Pulmonary Specialty Clinic at Meadowmont, the UNC Center for Bronchiectasis Care will diagnose, treat, and provide long-term support for patients with bronchiectasis, as well as patients with mycobacterial lung infections.

UNC Center for Bronchiectasis Care begins serving patients in Chapel Hill click to enlarge Peadar Noone, MD, visits with a patient. Photo by Chris Polydoroff.

A new center dedicated to the treatment of bronchiectasis and mycobacterial infections has opened at UNC, under the leadership of Peadar Noone, MD, and Leigh Anne Daniels, MD, MPH. 

Noone, a professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary diseases and critical care Medicine and the Center's medical director, described bronchiectasis as a chronic respiratory infectious illness characterized by a productive cough, among other symptoms. It is known as an “orphan disease” because it is perceived as a rare condition and has historically received little attention from health care providers.

“Delivery of good care to these patients is often fragmented and sub-optimal,” said Noone.

However, recent research suggests that bronchiectasis is more common than previously thought.

“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, asthma, or other conditions,” explained Noone.

The UNC Center for Bronchiectasis Care offers services related to diagnosis, treatment, and long-term support for patients with bronchiectasis, as well as patients with mycobacterial lung infections, a related condition.

The expert team includes co-director Leigh Anne Daniels, MD, MPH, instructor of medicine, Michael Knowles, MD, professor of medicine, and Jennifer Dane, adult CF clinical specialist.

Collaborating consultants through UNC are Claire Farel, MD, MPH in the division of infectious diseases; Katherine Birchard, MD, in the department of radiology; Ben Haithcock, MD and Jason Long, MD, MPH in cardiothoracic surgery; Maya Jerath, MD, PhD in the division of allergy, immunology, and rheumatology; Brent Senior, MD, Charles Ebert, MD, MPH, Adam Zanation, MD, and Brian Thorp in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery; and Peter Gilligan, PhD, 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,” stated Noone.

Noone also expressed hope for patients in that a recent and renewed interest in this field among clinicians and researchers around the world has brought more attention. This includes the US Bronchiectasis Registry, of which UNC is a founding partner.

You can read more about the Center at its new web site, which includes information about the clinic and the team. Patient education on bronchiectasis and mycobacterial lung infections is also available on the site, which explains symptoms, causes, and treatments.

The Center is located in the UNC Pulmonary Specialty Clinic at Meadowmont in Chapel Hill at 300 Meadowmont Village Circle in Suite 203.

By Kristen Hendrickson, Department of Medicine

Visit the UNC Center for Bronchiectasis Care website.

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