What causes status asthmaticus?

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

Exposure to an allergen or trigger causes a characteristic form of airway inflammation in susceptible individuals, exemplified by mast cell degranulation, release of inflammatory mediators, infiltration by eosinophils, and activated T lymphocytes. Multiple inflammatory mediators may be involved, including interleukin (IL)–3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-13, leukotrienes, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors (GM-CSFs). These, in turn, incite involvement of mast cells, neutrophils, and eosinophils. (See the diagram below.)

Figure depicting antigen presentation by the dendr Figure depicting antigen presentation by the dendritic cell, with the lymphocyte and cytokine response leading to airway inflammation and asthma symptoms.

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