Jul 1, 1988

Basic mechanisms of asthma. Role of inflammation

C E Reed


It is now recognized that the basic reason for airway obstruction in asthma is chronic airway inflammation. The hyperresponsiveness and "bronchospasm" are, in part at least, a consequence of the inflammation. Optimum patient care needs to focus on preventing inflammation when possible and using anti-inflammatory drugs when prevention is not possible. When chronic asthma is mild, aerosol glucocorticoids or cromolyn suffice. Acute exacerbations that do not respond fully to bronchodilator drugs usually should be treated by a course of oral glucocorticoids. A few patients with severe disease require oral glucocorticoid therapy indefinitely.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Histamine Measurement
Bronchial System
Glucocorticoid inhalants for obstructive airway disease
Mast Cell
Peripheral Blood
Lymphocytes as Percentage of Blood Leukocytes (Lab Test)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Neutrophils as Percentage of Blood Leukocytes (Lab Test)
Bronchial Spasm

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