What is pediatric asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways characterized by an obstruction of airflow, which may be completely or partially reversed with or without specific therapy. Airway inflammation is the result of interactions between various cells, cellular elements, and cytokines. In susceptible individuals, airway inflammation may cause recurrent or persistent bronchospasm, which causes symptoms that include wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and cough, particularly at night (early morning hours) or after exercise.

Airway inflammation is associated with airway hyperreactivity or bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), which is defined as the inherent tendency of the airways to narrow in response to various stimuli (eg, environmental allergens and irritants). [3]

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