Chapter

Diagnosis

Graeme P. Currie

in Asthma

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199638918
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740893 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199638918.003.0002

Series: Oxford Respiratory Medicine Library

Diagnosis

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• The diagnosis of asthma is based around the presence of typical symptoms (intermittent cough, wheeze, breathlessness, impaired exercise tolerance, chest tightness) and assessment of spirometry • In asthma, spirometry is usually normal, although airflow obstruction may be present • Depending on clinical features and spirometry, the probability of asthma being present should be categorized into high, intermediate or low: • High probability: treatment should be started • Intermediate probability: treatment should be started if spirometry is normal or airflow obstruction present; otherwise, further investigations and an alternative diagnosis should be considered • Low probability: further investigations and an alternative diagnosis should be considered • Further investigations may include a full blood count, reversibility testing, exercise testing, chest X-ray, and assessment of airway hyperresponsiveness, exhaled nitric oxide, and sputum eosinophils.

Chapter.  3149 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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