Bronchiolitis Differential Diagnoses

Updated: May 17, 2021
  • Author: Nizar F Maraqa, MD, FAAP, FPIDS; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Bronchiolitis and asthma have similar symptoms and signs, and some concern exists that patients with asthma could be misdiagnosed with bronchiolitis. The pathology of bronchiolitis involves edema of the airway wall rather than bronchoconstriction (as in asthma).

In addition to the conditions listed in the differential diagnosis, other problems to be considered include the following:

  • Branchial cleft cyst

  • Bronchiolitis obliterans-organizing pneumonia (BOOP)

  • Bronchomalacia

  • Cardiac disease

  • Congenital heart disease

  • Congenital lobar emphysema

  • Congenital structural airway anomaly

  • Constrictive bronchiolitis

  • Gastroesophageal reflux

  • Tracheal ring

  • Vascular ring

Differential Diagnoses