Chronic bronchitis is a term that has been in use for almost 200 years, and only recently has come to mean something more specific and definitive than a persistent productive cough with variable degrees of respiratory deficiency. Yet even now its definition and interpretation create problems and difficulties, particularly when comparisons between different nations and geographical situations are attempted. For, dosely associated with chronic bronchitis, is the condition of emphysema, whose main features are abnormally large air spaces in the lungs created through confluence and disappearance of normallung tissue and leading to loss of pulmonary functional area and respiratory deficiency. The association between chronic bronchitis and emphysema is uncertain and since the aetiology of emphysema is even less weIl understood than that of chronic bronchitis it is difficult to be more definite about it.
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