Cellular pathophysiology of asthma. Top, Cross-section of the normal airway and the asthmatic airway. Mediators released during the inflammatory process associated with asthma cause bronchoconstriction, mucus secretion, and mucosal inflammation and edema. These changes reduce the size of the airway lumen and increase resistance to airflow, which leads to wheezing and shortness of breath. Bottom, The multitude of inflammatory cells (macrophages, eosinophils, mast cells, neutrophils) and neurotransmitters implicated in asthma pathophysiology.
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