Recognition of Small Airways
Obstruction in Asthma and COPD -
The Road Less Travelled
Dr Swapndeep Singh Atwal,
8/4, 3rd Floor, old Rajender Nagar, New Delhi-110060, India.
The small airways, once regarded as the silent zone in the air conducting system of the lungs are now known to be one of the initial sites of involvement in diseases like asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Identification of the involvement of distal airways in these diseases is often difficult to assess, clinically as well as by conventional pulmonary function tests and therefore, usually remains undiscovered in early stages. Early recognition of their involvement in asthma and COPD and timely management may reduce long term morbidity in these conditions. This article aims to highlight the relatively lesser recognized facts about small airways involvement in asthma and COPD and role of imaging and newer modalities for detection.