What is asthma?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: John J Oppenheimer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Asthma is a clinical syndrome characterized by episodic reversible airway obstruction, increased bronchial reactivity, and airway inflammation. Asthma results from complex interactions among inflammatory cells, their mediators, airway epithelium and smooth muscle, and the nervous system. In genetically susceptible individuals, these interactions can lead the patient with asthma to symptoms of breathlessness, wheezing, cough, and chest tightness.


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