Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Clinical Assessment of Asthma in the Adult

The article, “Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Clinical Assessment of Asthma in the Adult” by Killeen and Skora (2012) is written out of a critical analysis of past literature on the “pathophysiology, diagnosis, and clinical assessment of asthma” (Killeen & Skora, 2013, p. 12). The focus is primarily on the current assessment standards of the disease as experienced by adults. The authors begin by identifying the epidemiology and risk factors, revealing an increase in the number of those diagnosed with the disease by 43 million from 2001 to 2009 and a growth in the cost of treatment by 6 percent from 2002 to 2007. Two categories of risk factors are identified, including the host that causes it and the environment which are triggers. The inflammatory cells and mediators are explained, in investigating the pathophysiology of the disease, as the minimizing factors in frequency and severity of the attacks.

For the purpose of diagnosis, experts have revealed that the proper understanding of the medical history of the patient together with diagnostic tests to confirm is currently the most effective. A thorough physical examination is critical, focusing on areas such as respiratory tract, chest, and skin. The Global Initiative for Asthma as well as The Expert Panel Report 3 recommends use of the Spirometry for initial testing. Use of either methacholine or mannitol is recommended for the assessment of hyper-responsiveness of the airway. When used with other clinical examinations, the fractional exhaled nitric oxide evaluation can provide important information, although its use in the management of the condition is yet to be proved in research. The conclusion made by the authors relates to the importance of early evaluation and diagnosis for more effective management of the condition.

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