Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that is characterized by variable narrowing of the airways and symptoms of intermittent dyspnea, wheezing, and nighttime or early-morning coughing.
Criteria for the Diagnosis of Asthma
Presence of episodic symptoms of airflow obstruction or airway hyperresponsiveness
Objective assessment consisting of one of the following
Airflow obstruction that is at least partially reversible with the use of an inhaled short-acting beta 2-agonist, as shown by one of three variables
An increase in FEV1 of >/=12% from baseline
An increase in predicted FEV1 of >/=10 percentage points from baseline
An increase in PEF of >/=20% (or 60 liters/min) from baseline
Diurnal variation in PEF (measured twice daily) of more than 10%
* FEV1 denotes forced expiratory volume in 1 second, and PEF peak expiratory flow.
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- Mintz M. Asthma update: part I. Diagnosis, monitoring, and prevention of disease progression. Am Fam Physician. 2004;70:893-898. [Medline]
Created Aug 22, 2013.