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Pathology of Asthma

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Appreciation of the early damage that occurs to the respiratory epithelium has been limited by the use of autopsy specimens from fatally stricken asthmatics as a source of representative specimens. The use of bronchoscopy to obtain specimens from patients early in the course of their asthma has allowed a new understanding of the evolution of pathological changes that occur in asthma. Newly diagnosed, mild asthmatics have been shown to have bronchial goblet cell hyperplasia in addition to increased numbers of mast cells and eosinophils in the respiratory epithelium, and increased eosinophil granule protein deposition within the lamina pro-pria. Endothelial gaps in postcapillary venules are greater in asthmatic airways, suggesting that increased plasma transudation may contribute to the known epithelial cell shedding characteristic of asthma attacks. Asthmatic inflammation, even early in the course of the disease, includes vascular permeability changes, inflammatory cell infiltration, epithelial cell shedding, and goblet cell hyperplasia, replacing the normal ciliated epithelium. Current investigation evaluating the effects of asthmatic inflammation on epithelial cell attachment to each other and to the extra cellular matrix molecules regulated by adhesion glycoproteins will likely enhance further the understanding of the pathological changes that occur within the asthmatic airway.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1994

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 and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    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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