Infant wheeze: Is asthma a possibility?

Authors

  • Philip K Pattemore

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Paediatrics, University of Otago Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand
    • Correspondence: A/Prof Philip Pattemore, Department of Paediatrics, University of Otago Christchurch, Christchurch Mail Centre, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. Fax: +64-3-3786355; email: philip.pattemore@otago.ac.nz

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  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

Abstract

Most infant wheeze is not asthma. Nonetheless, infants are able to develop reversible airway obstruction with or without allergic sensitisation, and asthma does occur at this age. The many other causes of infant wheeze, however, make asthma more difficult to distinguish from the background ‘noise’. Consideration of risk factors and clinical features can enable some infants to be given a provisional diagnosis and, if their symptoms are disabling, a cautious trial of asthma treatment.

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