Asthma Pathophysiology and Clinical Features MCQs
This article is focused on providing you a better understanding about the pathophysiology and clinical features of asthma through MCQs. Do these MCQs first. You will find the explanations for the answers in the text given below.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a disorder characterized by reversible airway obstruction. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder.
This airway inflammation is associated with airway hyper-responsiveness. Which means that there is a tendency in airway to constrict in response to external stimuli.
What are the common stimuli which can precipitate asthma?
- Viral respiratory tract infections
- Cold dry air
- Air pollutants
- Tobacco smoke and other types of smoke
- Psychological factors
- Drugs e.g. aspirin, β blockers
What is the pathophysiology of asthma?
There is a genetic predisposition for development of asthma. When the particular trigger meets the susceptible individual the pathological process initiates.
The individual meets the precipitant. Airway hyper-responsiveness comes into work. Then it causes bronchospasms, mucosal oedema and mucosal plugging. Then the airway obstruction occurs. Because of this there is resistance to airflow. Also it reduces the expiratory flow rate.
Then it leads to lung hyperinflation. The final result is alveolar hypoventilation. It develops a ventilation-perfusion (VQ) mismatch.
After that, at initial stages hypoxaemia without carbon dioxide retention occurs. Later carbon dioxide retention develops.
Initially hypoxia will cause hyperventilation. Therefore there will be respiratory alkalosis. Later with carbon dioxide retention, respiratory acidosis will develop. Metabolic acidosis also can manifest.
What are the clinical features of asthma?
Following are the common clinical features of asthma.
- Cough which is chesty, repetitive in nature. It becomes worse in the night or in the early morning.
- Breathlessness and chest tightness.
Often an early symptom of asthma is cough. Parents may not worry much at early stages. Specially if there is not a significant airway obstruction to produce an overt wheezing. The best evidence of the presence of asthma in children is wheezing. The symptoms of asthma may vary in terms of severity and duration.
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