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Airway Obstruction

Airway obstruction is a partial or complete blockage of the airways that impedes airflow. An airway obstruction can be classified as upper, central, or lower depending on location. Lower airway obstruction (LAO) is usually a manifestation of chronic disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Upper airway obstruction (UAO) and central airway obstruction (CAO) refers to a mechanical blockage of the large airways and are potentially life-threatening events, which need to be recognized and managed promptly.

Last updated: Jun 30, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction is a blockage of the airways, which impedes air flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure and effective respiration Respiration The act of breathing with the lungs, consisting of inhalation, or the taking into the lungs of the ambient air, and of exhalation, or the expelling of the modified air which contains more carbon dioxide than the air taken in. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy.

Anatomic classification

  • Upper airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction (UAO):
    • Nasopharynx Nasopharynx The top portion of the pharynx situated posterior to the nose and superior to the soft palate. The nasopharynx is the posterior extension of the nasal cavities and has a respiratory function. Pharynx: Anatomy, larynx Larynx The larynx, also commonly called the voice box, is a cylindrical space located in the neck at the level of the C3-C6 vertebrae. The major structures forming the framework of the larynx are the thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, and epiglottis. The larynx serves to produce sound (phonation), conducts air to the trachea, and prevents large molecules from reaching the lungs. Larynx: Anatomy, and trachea Trachea The trachea is a tubular structure that forms part of the lower respiratory tract. The trachea is continuous superiorly with the larynx and inferiorly becomes the bronchial tree within the lungs. The trachea consists of a support frame of semicircular, or C-shaped, rings made out of hyaline cartilage and reinforced by collagenous connective tissue. Trachea: Anatomy
  • Central airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction (CAO):
    • Trachea Trachea The trachea is a tubular structure that forms part of the lower respiratory tract. The trachea is continuous superiorly with the larynx and inferiorly becomes the bronchial tree within the lungs. The trachea consists of a support frame of semicircular, or C-shaped, rings made out of hyaline cartilage and reinforced by collagenous connective tissue. Trachea: Anatomy and mainstem bronchi Bronchi The larger air passages of the lungs arising from the terminal bifurcation of the trachea. They include the largest two primary bronchi which branch out into secondary bronchi, and tertiary bronchi which extend into bronchioles and pulmonary alveoli. Bronchial Tree: Anatomy
  • Lower airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction (LAO): 
    • Distal to mainstem bronchi Bronchi The larger air passages of the lungs arising from the terminal bifurcation of the trachea. They include the largest two primary bronchi which branch out into secondary bronchi, and tertiary bronchi which extend into bronchioles and pulmonary alveoli. Bronchial Tree: Anatomy
    • Involves small airways
    • Usually a manifestation of chronic disease

Epidemiology

  • Exact incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency is unknown.
  • Occurs in 20%–30% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with lung cancer Lung cancer Lung cancer is the malignant transformation of lung tissue and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The majority of cases are associated with long-term smoking. The disease is generally classified histologically as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Symptoms include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Lung Cancer

Etiology

Upper airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction and CAO (large airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction):

  • Masses:
    • Lung cancer Lung cancer Lung cancer is the malignant transformation of lung tissue and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The majority of cases are associated with long-term smoking. The disease is generally classified histologically as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Symptoms include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Lung Cancer most common
    • Benign Benign Fibroadenoma masses (papillomas)
  • Aspiration of foreign body Foreign Body Foreign Body Aspiration
  • Mucous plug
  • Tracheomalacia Tracheomalacia A congenital or acquired condition of underdeveloped or degeneration of cartilage in the trachea. This results in a floppy tracheal wall making patency difficult to maintain. It is characterized by wheezing and difficult breathing. Laryngomalacia and Tracheomalacia
  • Angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is a localized, self-limited (but potentially life-threatening), nonpitting, asymmetrical edema occurring in the deep layers of the skin and mucosal tissue. The common underlying pathophysiology involves inflammatory mediators triggering significant vasodilation and increased capillary permeability. Angioedema ( tongue Tongue The tongue, on the other hand, is a complex muscular structure that permits tasting and facilitates the process of mastication and communication. The blood supply of the tongue originates from the external carotid artery, and the innervation is through cranial nerves. Lips and Tongue: Anatomy swelling Swelling Inflammation)
  • Anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction
  • Obstructive sleep apnea Sleep apnea Repeated cessation of breathing for > 10 seconds during sleep and results in sleep interruption, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness. Obstructive Sleep Apnea ( OSA OSA Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by recurrent obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, causing hypoxia and fragmented sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is due to a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway and is associated with snoring, restlessness, sleep interruption, and daytime somnolence. Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
  • Laryngoceles
  • Tracheal strictures/ stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
  • Airway Airway ABCDE Assessment hematomas (trauma)
  • Extrinsic compressions (e.g., vascular rings Vascular rings Vascular rings are a group of rare malformations featuring congenital abnormalities of the aortic arch. The aberrant arteries often form a ring around the esophagus and trachea, putting pressure on these structures. Vascular Rings, thyroid Thyroid The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy tumors)
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
Foreign body stuck between vocal cords

Foreign body Foreign Body Foreign Body Aspiration stuck between vocal cords Vocal cords A pair of cone-shaped elastic mucous membrane projecting from the laryngeal wall and forming a narrow slit between them. Each contains a thickened free edge (vocal ligament) extending from the thyroid cartilage to the arytenoid cartilage, and a vocal muscle that shortens or relaxes the vocal cord to control sound production. Larynx: Anatomy (bronchoscopic view)

Image: “ Foreign body Foreign Body Foreign Body Aspiration stuck between vocal cords Vocal cords A pair of cone-shaped elastic mucous membrane projecting from the laryngeal wall and forming a narrow slit between them. Each contains a thickened free edge (vocal ligament) extending from the thyroid cartilage to the arytenoid cartilage, and a vocal muscle that shortens or relaxes the vocal cord to control sound production. Larynx: Anatomy” by Kamran Mottaghi et al AL Amyloidosis. License: CC BY 3.0

Lower airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction (small airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction):

  • Asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) ( COPD COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD))
  • Post-infective bronchial hyperreactivity Bronchial hyperreactivity Tendency of the smooth muscle of the tracheobronchial tree to contract more intensely in response to a given stimulus than it does in the response seen in normal individuals. This condition is present in virtually all symptomatic patients with asthma. The most prominent manifestation of this smooth muscle contraction is a decrease in airway caliber that can be readily measured in the pulmonary function laboratory. Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis Bronchiectasis Bronchiectasis is a chronic disease of the airways that results from permanent bronchial distortion. This results from a continuous cycle of inflammation, bronchial damage and dilation, impaired clearance of secretions, and recurrent infections. Bronchiectasis and cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease:
    • Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis Hypersensitivity reaction (allergic reaction) to fungus aspergillus in an individual with long-standing bronchial asthma. It is characterized by pulmonary infiltrates, eosinophilia, elevated serum immunoglobulin e, and skin reactivity to aspergillus antigen. Aspergillus/Aspergillosis
    • Endobronchial tuberculosis Tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria. The bacteria usually attack the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body. Approximately 30% of people around the world are infected with this pathogen, with the majority harboring a latent infection. Tuberculosis spreads through the air when a person with active pulmonary infection coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis

Pathophysiology

Mechanisms

  • Extrinsic or intrinsic compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma due to tumors
  • Endobronchial granulation tissue Granulation tissue A vascular connective tissue formed on the surface of a healing wound, ulcer, or inflamed tissue. It consists of new capillaries and an infiltrate containing lymphoid cells, macrophages, and plasma cells. Wound Healing or calcifications
  • Thinning or collapse of the airway Airway ABCDE Assessment wall due to tracheomalacia Tracheomalacia A congenital or acquired condition of underdeveloped or degeneration of cartilage in the trachea. This results in a floppy tracheal wall making patency difficult to maintain. It is characterized by wheezing and difficult breathing. Laryngomalacia and Tracheomalacia
  • Airway Airway ABCDE Assessment edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema due to infection, inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation, or bleeding

Chronic and subacute

  • Minor obstruction is often asymptomatic initially.
  • Can be caused by a mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast, a stricture Stricture Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, or external compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma
  • Can be exacerbated by exertion, increased ventilatory demands (e.g., pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia), or progressive obstruction; and then become acute

Acute

  • Precipitating events:
    • Foreign body aspiration Foreign body aspiration Foreign body aspiration can lead to choking and death by obstructing airflow at the larynx or trachea. Foreign bodies may also become lodged deeper in the bronchi; this may not affect breathing but can cause infection or erosion of bronchial walls. Foreign Body Aspiration
    • Mucous plug
    • Laryngotracheal trauma
    • Smoke inhalation Smoke Inhalation Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
    • Pediatric infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease:
      • Epiglottitis Epiglottitis Epiglottitis (or “supraglottitis”) is an inflammation of the epiglottis and adjacent supraglottic structures. The majority of cases are caused by bacterial infection. Symptoms are rapid in onset and severe. Epiglottitis
      • Croup Croup Croup, also known as laryngotracheobronchitis, is a disease most commonly caused by a viral infection that leads to severe inflammation of the upper airway. It usually presents in children < 5 years of age. Patients develop a hoarse, "seal-like" barking cough and inspiratory stridor. Croup
      • Tonsillar or retropharyngeal abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
      • Diphtheria Diphtheria Diphtheria is an infectious disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae that most often results in respiratory disease with membranous inflammation of the pharynx, sore throat, fever, swollen glands, and weakness. The hallmark sign is a sheet of thick, gray material covering the back of the throat. Diphtheria
  • Acute exacerbation of mild chronic obstruction in the setting of swelling Swelling Inflammation, bleeding, or increased secretions

Clinical Presentation

Chronic and subacute

  • Symptoms are non-specific:
    • Dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea
    • Wheezing Wheezing Wheezing is an abnormal breath sound characterized by a whistling noise that can be relatively high-pitched and shrill (more common) or coarse. Wheezing is produced by the movement of air through narrowed or compressed small (intrathoracic) airways. Wheezing
    • Cough
    • Hemoptysis Hemoptysis Hemoptysis is defined as the expectoration of blood originating in the lower respiratory tract. Hemoptysis is a consequence of another disease process and can be classified as either life threatening or non-life threatening. Hemoptysis can result in significant morbidity and mortality due to both drowning (reduced gas exchange as the lungs fill with blood) and hemorrhagic shock. Hemoptysis
    • Hoarseness Hoarseness An unnaturally deep or rough quality of voice. Parapharyngeal Abscess
    • Chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Frequently misdiagnosed as asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma/ COPD COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Diagnostic clues:

Acute

  • Acute onset tachypnea Tachypnea Increased respiratory rate. Pulmonary Examination
  • Tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children
  • Inspiratory stridor Stridor Laryngomalacia and Tracheomalacia
  • Wheezing Wheezing Wheezing is an abnormal breath sound characterized by a whistling noise that can be relatively high-pitched and shrill (more common) or coarse. Wheezing is produced by the movement of air through narrowed or compressed small (intrathoracic) airways. Wheezing
  • Increased respiratory effort: suprasternal retractions, nasal flaring, grunting Grunting Physical Examination of the Newborn
  • Gagging, gasping
  • Cyanosis Cyanosis A bluish or purplish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes due to an increase in the amount of deoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood or a structural defect in the hemoglobin molecule. Pulmonary Examination
  • Obtunded mental status

Diagnosis

History

History can be obtained from a responsive patient not in extremis.

Physical exam

Imaging

  • Should only be performed after airway Airway ABCDE Assessment stabilization
  • Chest X-ray Chest X-ray X-ray visualization of the chest and organs of the thoracic cavity. It is not restricted to visualization of the lungs. Pulmonary Function Tests:
  • Neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess X-ray X-ray Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard x-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength x-rays. Soft x-rays or grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the x-ray spectrum overlaps the gamma rays wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and x-rays is based on their radiation source. Pulmonary Function Tests:
    • Thumbprint sign for epiglottitis Epiglottitis Epiglottitis (or “supraglottitis”) is an inflammation of the epiglottis and adjacent supraglottic structures. The majority of cases are caused by bacterial infection. Symptoms are rapid in onset and severe. Epiglottitis
  • Chest computed tomography Chest Computed Tomography Hemothorax (CT):
    • More detailed imaging than X-ray X-ray Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard x-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength x-rays. Soft x-rays or grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the x-ray spectrum overlaps the gamma rays wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and x-rays is based on their radiation source. Pulmonary Function Tests
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):

Pulmonary function test Pulmonary function test Pulmonary function tests are a group of diagnostic procedures yielding useful, quantifiable information about the rate of the flow of air through the individual’s airways, lung capacity, and the efficiency of gas exchange in relation to time. The most commonly utilized tests include spirometry (before and after bronchodilator use), lung volumes, and quantitation of diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (CO). The tests can be influenced by the individual’s effort/fatigue, disease state, or anatomical malformation. Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT)

For chronic/subacute symptoms in the setting of suspected obstruction:

  • Minimal variability in peak flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure/ spirometry Spirometry Measurement of volume of air inhaled or exhaled by the lung. Pulmonary Function Tests
  • Characteristic “squared-off” flow-volume loop 
  • Fall in peak expiratory flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure rate (PEFR) relatively greater than fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)

Management

Life-threatening obstruction

  • If a foreign body Foreign Body Foreign Body Aspiration is suspected, abdominal thrusts ( Heimlich maneuver Heimlich maneuver An emergency treatment commonly used to clear food and other foreign objects causing airway obstruction. Foreign Body Aspiration) or back slaps (for infants) should be performed for responsive patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation Cardiopulmonary resuscitation The artificial substitution of heart and lung action as indicated for heart arrest resulting from electric shock, drowning, respiratory arrest, or other causes. The two major components of cardiopulmonary resuscitation are artificial ventilation and closed-chest cardiac massage. Cardiac Arrest is initiated for unresponsive patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship.
  • The goal of initial management:
  • The initial step is bag-mask ventilation Ventilation The total volume of gas inspired or expired per unit of time, usually measured in liters per minute. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing.
  • Maneuvers to help open the airway Airway ABCDE Assessment:
    • Head tilt-chin lift (if no cervical spine Spine The human spine, or vertebral column, is the most important anatomical and functional axis of the human body. It consists of 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, and 5 lumbar vertebrae and is limited cranially by the skull and caudally by the sacrum. Vertebral Column: Anatomy trauma is suspected)
    • Jaw-thrust (allows airway Airway ABCDE Assessment opening without disturbing the cervical spine Spine The human spine, or vertebral column, is the most important anatomical and functional axis of the human body. It consists of 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, and 5 lumbar vertebrae and is limited cranially by the skull and caudally by the sacrum. Vertebral Column: Anatomy)
  • Endotracheal intubation Endotracheal Intubation Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome is the definitive airway management Airway management An airway, breathing, and circulation (ABC) assessment is the mainstay for evaluating and treating critically ill individuals. The airway assessment helps identify individuals with potential obstruction of the airway, which may benefit from airway management techniques to ensure adequate ventilation and oxygenation. Airway Management.
  • If intubation Intubation Peritonsillar Abscess cannot be accomplished:

Not immediately life-threatening obstruction

  • History, laboratory, and imaging evaluations can be obtained.
  • Initial management:
    • Sit the patient up.
    • High-flow oxygen or heliox (a mixture of oxygen and helium) via a mask
    • Intravenous high-dose corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis (reduce edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema around the obstruction)
    • Nebulized salbutamol and adrenaline
    • Intravenous fluid replacement
  • Definitive management depends on the underlying cause.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): chronic obstructive inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the small airways and changes in the lung parenchyma and pulmonary vasculature. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship usually present with dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea and chronic cough. COPD COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive condition with acute flares. Management includes smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation, and pharmacotherapy.
  • Asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma: chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship typically present with wheezing Wheezing Wheezing is an abnormal breath sound characterized by a whistling noise that can be relatively high-pitched and shrill (more common) or coarse. Wheezing is produced by the movement of air through narrowed or compressed small (intrathoracic) airways. Wheezing, cough, and dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea. Diagnosis is confirmed with a PFT showing a reversible obstructive pattern. Treatment, based on symptom severity, includes bronchodilators Bronchodilators Asthma Drugs and inhaled corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis for control of inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation.

References

  1. Aboussouan, L. S., & Stoller, J. K. (1994). Diagnosis and management of upper airway obstruction. Clinics in chest medicine, 15(1), 35–53. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8200192/
  2. Herth F. JF. (2020).  Clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, and management of central airway obstruction in adults. Retrieved 25 January 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-presentation-diagnostic-evaluation-and-management-of-central-airway-obstruction-in-adults
  3. Loftis L.L. (2019). Emergency evaluation of acute upper airway obstruction in children. Retrieved 25 January 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/emergency-evaluation-of-acute-upper-airway-obstruction-in-children
  4. Wittels K. (2019). Basic airway management in adults. Retrieved 26 January 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/basic-airway-management-in-adults

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