Dyspnea has a multifactorial nature and the exact mechanism that causes breathlessness in asthma is not fully understood. There is compelling evidence that factors other than merely mechanical ones take part in the pathophysiology of breathlessness. Some recent reports attribute airway inflammation, which may contribute to the unexplained variability in the perception of dyspnea associated with bronchoconstriction. Eosinophil airway inflammation has been proposed as a determinant of breathlessness via mechanisms affecting either the mechanical pathways that control breathlessness or the afferent nerves involved in perception of dyspnea. In this review, data on the interrelation between inflammation and dyspnea sensation and the impact of treatment on dyspnea sensation are discussed. We conclude that regardless of whether mechanical or chemical inflammatory factors are involved, much variability in dyspnea scores remains unexplained.
- Airway inflammation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine