Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the bronchial mucosa and bronchial smooth muscle, and characterised by airflow obstruction which varies both with time and as a result of treatment. The obstruction results partly from constriction of the bronchial smooth muscle and partly from swelling of the bronchial mucosa and the presence of bronchial mucus. The swelling of the bronchial musoca is due both to oedema and to cellular infiltration, characteristically with eosinophils but also with polymorphonuclear leucocytes, macrophages and lymphocytes.
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