Asthma Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis in Children
Alizadeh Mehdi MD, Pediatric pulmonologist, children growth research
center, research institute for prevention of non-communicable disease, qazvin university of medical sciences, QAZVIN, IRAN
asthma is a common chronic disease in childhood that consumes lots of resources in any health system and accurate diagnosis of asthma can save lives and prevent wasting of resources.
Material and methods:
For finding the best way of diagnosis of asthma and evaluation of its differential diagnosis the medical literature was reviewed for relevant guidelines by searching the Embase database.
There is no way to diagnose asthma in children 5 years and younger definitely and always there is some uncertainty in diagnosis. A spectrum of probability must be considered in asthma diagnosis in this age group based on symptoms patterns during and between upper respiratory infections. The best criteria for the diagnosis of asthma in children 6 years and older is variable respiratory symptoms with variable expiratory airflow limitation that is documented by pulmonary function test.
Conclusion: there must be lots of caution in the diagnosis of asthma in children less than 6 years of age and all relevant differential diagnoses must be ruled out before asthma diagnosis. Asthma diagnosis in children who are 6 years and older must be documented by a pulmonary function test that shows variable expiratory flow limitation.