Document Detail

A new look at the pathophysiology of asthma.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12653388     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Episodes of asthma, characterized by bronchial hyper-responsiveness and airway obstruction, are usually reversible and can be mitigated or prevented by appropriate use of therapeutic agents to manage asthma attacks. This article will highlight the various forms of asthma, either chronic or induced, and review both the correlating environmental factors and the immune mechanisms that are now understood to drive the inflammatory processes in the airways of the affected individuals. A significant fraction of humans is genetically predisposed toward having a robust response to allergens, characterized by a strong immunoglobulin E response (termed atopy) that manifests as an asthmatic reaction to airborne allergens in these sensitized individuals. However, occupation chemicals, airborne particles, and common insect allergens at home can also elicit an asthmatic response in exposed individuals, regardless of whether they are genetically susceptible or not. The complex immune mechanisms and sequelae that are associated with, and probably causal to, acute and persistent asthma episodes indicate that an imbalanced immune system is the primary driving force underlying asthma. This article will discuss how a dysregulated immune system, if not controlled by proper and aggressive therapeutic regimens, leads to pathogenic infiltration of the lung by various pro-inflammatory cells and eventual remodeling of the airway tissues, compromising normal lung function and one's quality of life.
T E King
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the National Medical Association     Volume:  91     ISSN:  0027-9684     ISO Abbreviation:  J Natl Med Assoc     Publication Date:  1999 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-03-25     Completed Date:  2003-04-17     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503090     Medline TA:  J Natl Med Assoc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  9S-15S     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, 1001 Potrero Ave., Room 5H22, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Asthma / immunology,  pathology,  physiopathology*
Bronchial Hyperreactivity / physiopathology
Inflammation / immunology,  physiopathology
Lung / physiopathology
Occupational Exposure

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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