• K. Suresh Babu
  • Jaymin B. Morjaria


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition characterised by variable airflow limitation. Asthma is the most chronic condition to affect children, and the World Health Organisation estimates 235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. Most patients with asthma can be managed successfully in primary care, but a significant proportion require specialist referral and supervision. In this chapter we discuss asthma epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and monitoring, management in the acute and long-term settings, asthma in special populations, and those patients who are difficult-to-treat at the severe end of the spectrum.


Allergy Airflow obstruction Eosinophils Interleukin-5 Bronchoalveolar lavage Blood count Immunoglobulin E Occupational lung disease Inhaled drug therapy Inhalers Corticosteroids 



We would like to acknowledge Dr. Alex Hicks for critiquing the chapter.


  1. 1.
    Holt PG, Sly PD. Viral infections and atopy in asthma pathogenesis: new rationales for asthma prevention and treatment. Nat Med. 2012;18(5):726–35.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    The global asthma report 2014. Available at:
  3. 3.
    Asthma UK. Available at: Accessed 5 Mar 2015.
  4. 4.
    Asthma Statistics. British lung foundation. 2015. Available at:
  5. 5.
    Global initiative for asthma. Global strategy for asthma management and prevention. 2015. Available at:
  6. 6.
    BTS/SIGN guideline on the management of asthma. 2016. Available at:
  7. 7.
    Surveillance of work-related and occupational respiratory disease (SWORD) 2013–2015. Work-related and occupational asthma in Great Britain 2016. Health and safety executive. Available at:
  8. 8.
    Royal college of physicians. Why asthma still kills: the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) Confidential Enquiry report. London: RCP; 2014.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Parsons JP, Hallstrand TS, Mastronarde JG, Kaminsky DA, Rundell KW, Hull JH, et al. An official American Thoracic Society clinical practice guideline: exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013;187(9):1016–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Simon RA, Dazy KM, Waldram JD. Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease: characteristics and management strategies. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2015;11(7):805–17.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bateman ED, Reddel HK, van Zyl-Smit RN, Agusti A. The asthma-COPD overlap syndrome: towards a revised taxonomy of chronic airways diseases? Lancet Respir Med. 2015;3(9):719–28.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Soler-Cataluna JJ, Cosio B, Izquierdo JL, Lopez-Campos JL, Marin JM, Aguero R, et al. Consensus document on the overlap phenotype COPD-asthma in COPD. Arch Bronconeumol. 2012;48(9):331–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chung KF, Wenzel SE, Brozek JL, Bush A, Castro M, Sterk PJ, et al. International ERS/ATS guidelines on definition, evaluation and treatment of severe asthma. Eur Respir J. 2013;43(2):343–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Suresh Babu
    • 1
  • Jaymin B. Morjaria
    • 2
  1. 1.Respiratory MedicineQueen Alexandra HospitalPortsmouthUK
  2. 2.Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation TrustHarefieldUK

Personalised recommendations