Skip to Main Content

Condition/Disorder Synonyms

  • Acute bronchitis

  • Inflammation of bronchi

ICD-9-CM Codes

  • 466 Acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis

  • 490 Bronchitis, not specified as acute or chronic

  • 491 Chronic bronchitis

Associated Physical Therapy Diagnoses

  • 780.7 Malaise and fatigue

  • 786.0 Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities

  • 786.05 Shortness of breath

ICD-10-CM Codes

  • J20 Acute bronchitis

  • J20.0 Acute bronchitis due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae

  • J20.1 Acute bronchitis due to Haemophilus influenzae

  • J20.2 Acute bronchitis due to Streptococcus

  • J20.3 Acute bronchitis due to coxsackievirus

  • J20.4 Acute bronchitis due to parainfluenza virus

  • J20.5 Acute bronchitis due to respiratory syncytial virus

  • J20.6 Acute bronchitis due to rhinovirus

  • J20.7 Acute bronchitis due to echovirus

  • J20.8 Acute bronchitis due to other specified organisms

  • J20.9 Acute bronchitis, unspecified

  • J41.0 Simple chronic bronchitis

  • J68.0 Bronchitis and pneumonitis due to chemicals, gases, fumes, and vapors

Preferred Practice Patterns

Key Features


  • Inflammation of the air passageways in the lungs

  • Inflammation of the mucous membranes

  • Categorized as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis based on clinical manifestation.

  • Acute bronchitis usually occurs after a common cold (viral respiratory infection).

  • May get secondary bacterial infection.

  • Noninfectious, may be caused by chemical or physical agents that are inhaled.

General Considerations

  • Influenza is a systemic illness involving the respiratory tract.

  • Antibiotics have limited or no role in the treatment of a virus.

  • Can develop into pneumonia.

  • Can be acute or chronic (productive cough greater than 3 months).


  • Infants and young children

  • Elderly with weak immune system

Clinical Findings

Signs and Symptoms

  • Infection: Low-grade fever, malaise, myalgia, fatigue

  • Runny nose

  • Pleurisy

  • Sore throat

  • Cough with productive mucus

  • Edema

  • Chest tightness

  • Rales sounds

  • Ankle, feet, leg swelling

  • Wheezing

  • Shoulders raised to allow increased airflow to lungs

  • Shortness of breath

  • Tensed muscles from dyspnea

Functional Implications

  • Disabling dyspnea when performing simple tasks involving arm elevation, such as reaching into a cabinet

  • Decreased exercise tolerance

  • Patients with mononucleosis should avoid contact sports for 6 weeks to avoid splenic rupture

  • Sleeping disturbance

Possible Contributing Causes

  • Smoking

  • Air pollution

  • Allergies

  • Occupations with poor air quality

  • Long-term exposure to lung irritants (smoke)

  • Environmental irritants

  • Periodontal disease

  • Immunodeficiency disorders

  • Virus

Differential Diagnosis

  • Influenza

  • Measles

  • Asthma

  • Chickenpox

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

  • Ludwigs angina

  • Bronchiectasis

  • Adult cystic fibrosis

  • Kawasaki disease

  • Pneumonia

  • Goiter

  • Upper respiratory tract infection

  • Asthma (reversible)

  • Central airway obstruction

  • Lung tumor

  • Tuberculosis

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.