Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The causes of airway obstruction and restriction

Sometimes it's good to have a basic reminder of the difference between the causes of airway obstructions and restrictive diseases

A. Airway obstruction is anything that causes narrowing or blocking of the air passages that results in a decreased exhaled airflow. The causes of airway obstruction are as follows:

Upper Airway obstruction:

  1. Rhinitis/ pharyngitis
  2. Diphtheria
  3. Croup
  4. Epiglottis
  5. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  6. Laryngeal paralysis
  7. Tracheal stenosis
  8. Tracheal malacia
  9. Foreign body
  10. Tetanus

Lower Airway obstruction:

  1. Emphysema (COPD)
  2. Chronic bronchitis (COPD)
  3. Asthma
  4. Cystic Fibrosis
  5. Bronchiectasis
  6. Bronchiolitis
  7. Bronchial compression (tumor, lymph nodes)
  8. Endobronchial tumors
  9. Foreign body
  10. Mucus plugging

B. Restrictive lung diseases are caused by anything that decreases the lungs ability to expand and properly ventilate the patient by getting rid of CO2 from the blood and adding O2 to the blood stream. The following are restrictive diseases:

  1. Sarcoidosis
  2. Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) or Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  3. Pneumonia
  4. cancer
  5. granulomatous disorder
  6. obesity
  7. pregnancy
  8. pneumothorax
  9. pleural effusion
  10. kyphoscoliosis
  11. emphysema (loss of lung tissue)
  12. Neuromuscular and neurologic (Guillain-Barre Syndrome, polio myelitis or myasthenia gravis)
  13. Pickwickian syndrome
  14. Pleurisy

Of the above listed causes of airway obstruction and restriction, which four are benefited by a bronchodilator?

Here's a clue: the answer is not any of the restrictive diseases, or any of the obstructive causes form the upper airway.

1 comment:

Aiesha Grant said...

Asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and I guess to some extent cystic fibrosis.