Differential Diagnosis of Asthma

  • John JohnsonEmail author
  • Tina Abraham
  • Monica Sandhu
  • Devi Jhaveri
  • Robert Hostoffer
  • Theodore Sher
Living reference work entry


Asthma is one of the most common chronic syndromes worldwide (Moorman et al., Vital Health Stat 3(35), 2012). It is not a diagnosis but a clinical syndrome based on a constellation of signs and symptoms (Li et al., Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 81:415–420(IIa), 1998). The classic symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, wheeze, cough, and dyspnea (Moorman et al., Vital Health Stat 3(35), 2012). The term asthma encompasses a spectrum of pulmonary diseases sharing the hallmark of reversible airway obstruction and can be classified as allergic or non-allergic (Löwhagen, J Asthma. 52(6):538–44, 2015). Asthma designated allergic is due to an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated process, but as noted not all asthma is allergic in etiology (Romanet-Manent et al., Allergy 57:607–13, 2002). The differential diagnosis for asthma is broad and requires a detailed history with supportive pulmonary function tests to be properly diagnosed.


Asthma Differential diagnosis Pathophysiology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Johnson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tina Abraham
    • 1
  • Monica Sandhu
    • 1
  • Devi Jhaveri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Hostoffer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Theodore Sher
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Adult PulmonaryUniversity Hospitals Cleveland Medical CenterClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Allergy/Immunology Associates, IncMayfield HeightsUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Dennis K. Ledford
    • 1
  • Timothy Craig
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Allergy & Immunology, Dept. of Internal MedicineUniversity of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, James A Haley Veterans' Hospital, Asthma and Immunology Associates of Tampa BayTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine and PediatricsPenn State College of MedicineHersheyUSA

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