Patients hospitalized for acute asthma have poor perception of airflow obstruction

In a prospective study of inner-city adults hospitalized for acute asthma, symptom control and airflow obstruction (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1] percentage predicted) were evaluated at discharge and 2 weeks after discharge.


Flow-volume loop showing successful FVC maneuver. Image source: Spirometry, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, GNU Free Documentation License.

In 80.4% of patients, change in symptom control was not significantly associated with change in airflow obstruction, indicating poor perception of change in airflow obstruction.

Patients hospitalized for acute asthma have poor perception of airflow obstruction and change in airflow obstruction. Objective measurements of lung function should guide treatment decisions.

References:
Perception of airflow obstruction in patients hospitalized for acute asthma. Davis SQ, Permutt Z, Permutt S, Naureckas ET, Bilderback AL, Rand CS, Stein BD, Krishnan JA. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2009 Jun;102(6):455-61.

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