Asthma is a heterogeneous syndrome of cough, wheeze, dyspnea, and chest tightness. However, in a subset of patients, these symptoms may indicate a different underlying disease process with variable responsiveness to classic asthma therapies. Disease may progress while practitioners attempt conventional asthma therapy. Additionally, some types of asthma may require alternative approaches to relieve symptoms successfully. This article describes the differential diagnosis of asthma and discusses some of the more common asthma variants and asthma mimickers.
Keywords: Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease; Asthma; Churg-Strauss; Cough-variant asthma; Foreign body aspiration; Hypersensitivity pneumonitis; Work-related asthma.
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