Don’t diagnose or manage asthma without spirometry.
Clinicians often rely solely upon symptoms when diagnosing and managing asthma, but these symptoms may be misleading and be from alternate causes. Therefore spirometry is essential to confirm the diagnosis in those patients who can perform this procedure. Recent guidelines highlight spirometry’s value in stratifying disease severity and monitoring control. History and physical exam alone may over- or under-estimate asthma control. Beyond the increased costs of care, repercussions of misdiagnosing asthma include delaying a correct diagnosis and treatment.
These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Executive Committee created a task force to lead work on Choosing Wisely consisting of board members, the AAAAI President and Secretary/Treasurer and AAAAI participants in the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters. Through multiple society publications and notifications, AAAAI members were invited to offer feedback and recommend elements to be included in the list. A targeted email was also sent to an extended group of AAAAI leadership inviting them to participate.
The work group reviewed the submissions to ensure the best science in the specialty was included. Based on this additional members were recruited for their expertise. Suggested elements were considered for appropriateness, relevance to the core of the specialty, potential overuse of resources and opportunities to improve patient care. They were further refined to maximize impact and eliminate overlap, and then ranked in order of potential importance both for the specialty and for the public. Finally, the work group chose its top five recommendations which were then approved by the Executive Committee.
AAAAI’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.aaaai.org.
National Asthma Education and Prevention Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the diagnosis and Management of Asthma. NIH Publication Number 08–5846 October 2007.
Li J, Oppenheimer J, Bernstein IL et al. Attaining asthma control. A practice parameter. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005;115:S3–11.
Global strategy for asthma management and prevention: GINA executive summary Eur Respir J 2008 31:143–178.
Fuhlbrigge A, Kitch B, Paltielet D et. al. FEV1 is associated with risk of asthma attacks in a pediatric population. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001;107:61–6.
Magadle R The Risk of Hospitalization and Near-Fatal and Fatal Asthma in Relation to the Perception of Dyspnea Chest. 2002;121:329–333.