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New Insights Into the Understanding of Asthma

Robert J. Davies; Jiahua Wang; Muntasir M. Abdelaziz; Moises A. Calderon; Omer Khair; Jagdish L. Devalia; Csaba Rusznak
Author and Funding Information

From the Academic Department of Respiratory Medicine, St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, The London Chest Hospital, London, United Kingdom


1997 by the American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 1997;111(2_Supplement):2S-10S. doi:10.1378/chest.111.2_Supplement.2S
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Abstract

The prevalence of asthma is increasing, despite better understanding of its pathogenesis and improved treatments. During the past 10 years, the perception of asthma has shifted from a disease primarily characterized by altered smooth muscle function to one mainly characterized by chronic inflammation. This article reviews the evidence supporting the relationship of inflammation in both the upper and lower airways, focusing on intermittent seasonal disease as well as on the more chronic and severe forms of asthma, including that associated with aspirin intolerance. It also presents evidence to support a pivotal role for the epithelial cell, together with the mast cell and the eosinophil, in initiating and maintaining inflammation in the upper and lower airways.


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asthma

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