Approach to the Patient with Dyspnea

  • Christopher D. Lang
  • Imran N. Chaudhary


Dyspnea is a common presenting symptom of cardiovascular disease in both the outpatient and inpatient setting. Despite its prevalence, the lack of specificity and variation in language used to describe sensation of shortness of breath, it poses unique diagnostic and management challenges. Often times, understanding of the underlying mechanisms of dyspnea in parallel with a focused history and exam can lead to an initial workup and differential. It is difficult to have one all-encompassing framework for evaluation of dyspnea; however, it is useful to have a general framework from which to proceed. This chapter will cover the general mechanisms of dyspnea as well as the basic workup for possible pulmonary disease causes. The focus will be specifically on dyspnea as it directly relates to diseases of the cardiovascular system.


Pulmonary Hypertension Mitral Regurgitation Constrictive Pericarditis Exertional Dyspnea Hepatopulmonary Syndrome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of CardiologyUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA

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