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Sample Topic: Asthma

Asthma : Last revised in December 2013

What else might it be in children?

  • In young children with episodic breathlessness, wheeze, and cough, the most likely alternative diagnosis to asthma is viral-induced wheeze.
  • Other causes of persistent symptoms of breathlessness, wheeze, or cough:
    • Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, allergic alveolitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, polyarteritis nodosa.
    • Cystic fibrosis, chronic lung disease, ciliary dyskinesia, developmental anomaly (vascular ring) and other malformations affecting airway calibre, bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
    • Laryngeal disorder, laryngo-tracheomalacia, tracheo-oesophageal fistula.
    • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease with or without aspiration, swallowing problems with aspiration.
    • Congestive heart failure, pulmonary thromboembolism, sarcoidosis.
    • Tumour, lymphoma with superior vena cava obstruction, neuromuscular disorder, immune deficiency.
    • Psychogenic cough.
  • Other causes of acute onset of breathlessness:
    • Inhaled foreign body.
    • Viral-associated wheeze of infancy, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, croup, bronchitis, pertussis.
    • Sinusitis.
    • Post-nasal drip.
    • Bronchiectasis.
    • Post-infection syndrome (bronchiolitis obliterans).
    • Tuberculosis.
    • Histoplasmosis.