Diagnostic challenges of adult asthma.
Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2016 Jan;22(1):38-45
Authors: Virchow JC
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Bronchial asthma is a common disorder that affects about 300 million people worldwide. Its signs and symptoms however, can be present in other pulmonary and/or airway diseases and therefore a careful workup of patients with respiratory symptoms that might be due to asthma is required to a) keep a broad differential diagnosis, especially in cases that do not respond well to standard antiasthmatic therapy and b) attempt to subphenotype patients within the syndrome of asthma to diagnose e.g. precipitating factors, inflammatory subtypes and comorbidities.
RECENT FINDINGS: The syndrome of asthma contains a number of different phenotypes that offer the possibility of personalized medicine based on the respective asthma phenotype. There are attempts to combine asthma and COPD in newly postulated overlap syndromes which this review discourages to do but instead, based on new and old information concerning asthma phenotyping, suggests to rule in comorbidities and rule out a number of other diseases that can mimick asthma clinically.
SUMMARY: Bronchial asthma, although one of the most common respiratory diseases, can be mimicked by a number of other pulmonary and airway diseases, and especially patients with so called severe or treatment refractory asthma should receive a detailed diagnostic workup with a rather broad differential diagnosis.
PMID: 26606077 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]