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A Critical Evaluation of the Definition of Asthma

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The clinical variants of asthma are numerous and until a unifying etiology is found, asthma cannot be precisely defined. The criteria for asthma in the most commonly cited definition include: 1) diffuse bronchial obstruction, 2) response to specific (bronchodilator) therapy, and 3) bronchial hyperreactivity. Since asthma is an episodic disease, these features may not always be present when the patient is seen for evaluation. An appreciation of the limitations of this definition will encourage more appropriate use of bronchodilator therapy.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Associate Professor of Medicine, Brown University Program in Medicine; Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Department of Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital

Publication date: 1983-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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