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Cardiac Asthma: Old Disease, New Considerations

Carter, Kerri MD, FAAP; Moskowitz, William MD, FAAP, FACC, FSCAI

doi: 10.1097/CPM.0000000000000047
Colleagues in Respiratory Medicine
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First described in the 1800s, cardiac asthma is defined as wheezing, cough, and orthopnea secondary to left heart failure. The cardiopulmonary interaction forms the basis for the pathophysiology of cardiac asthma—a state in which disease or failure of the former manifests in pathologic findings and symptoms of the latter, the majority of which are reversible with correction of the underlying cardiac pathology. Treatment is generally aimed at primary cardiac disease, as no specific therapies for cardiac asthma itself have been proven effective. More recent research has focused on the molecular biology of the inflammatory reaction and profibrotic state of cardiac and pulmonary remodeling, with transforming growth factor-β and its associated signaling pathways emerging as possible therapeutic targets.

Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Richmond, VA

Disclosure: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to: William Moskowitz, MD, FAAP, FACC, FSCAI, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, 1200 E. Broad Street, P.O. Box 980543, Richmond, VA 23298. E-mail: wmoskowitz@mcvh-vcu.edu.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.