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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus
Online ISSN 1827-1723
Radhakrishna N., Thompson B. R.
Unit of Allergy Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine Monash University, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were previously thought to be disorders affecting predominantly the central airways. It is now well known that small peripheral airways are also pathologically and clinically involved. Measurement techniques, such as spirometry, have mostly focused on larger airways but in recent times more sophisticated methods are being used to investigate the involvement of this distal zone. These tests are integral for measuring the effects of newer asthma treatments, which are composed of smaller particles that have the ability to reach these peripheral areas. The aim of this review is to look at the involvement of small airways disease in COPD and asthma, the tests that can measure dysfunction in these areas and the treatments that target peripheral airways.