Status Asthmaticus Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jun 17, 2020
  • Author: Constantine K Saadeh, MD; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Status asthmaticus can be misdiagnosed when wheezing occurs from an acute cause other than asthma. Some of these alternative causes of wheezing are discussed below.

Extrinsic compression

Airways can be compressed from vascular structures, such as vascular rings, lymphadenopathy, or tumors.

Congestive heart failure

Airway edema may cause wheezing in CHF. In addition, vascular compression may compress the airways during systole with cardiac ejection, resulting in a pulsatile wheeze that corresponds to the heart rate. This is sometimes erroneously referred to as cardiac asthma.

Differential Diagnoses