Cardiac asthma: new insights into an old disease

Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, 01/17/2013

Evidence suggests that circulating inflammatory factors and tissue growth factors also lead to airway obstruction suggesting the possibility of developing novel therapies.

  • Cardiac asthma has been defined as wheezing, coughing and orthopnea due to congestive heart failure.
  • The clinical distinction between bronchial asthma and cardiac asthma can be straight forward, except in patients with chronic lung disease coexisting with left heart disease.
  • Pulmonary edema and pulmonary vascular congestion have been thought to be the primary causes of cardiac asthma but most patients have a poor response to diuretics.
  • There appears to be limited effectiveness of classical asthma medications like bronchodilators or corticosteroids in treating cardiac asthma.

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