Is It Asthma? Recognizing Asthma Mimics

  • Marc C. Gauthier
  • Merritt L. FajtEmail author
Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM)


Asthma is a common disease but many other conditions, often referred to as asthma mimics, can produce similar symptoms, often resulting in an incorrect asthma diagnosis. Misdiagnosis becomes more likely if objective testing is omitted when a diagnosis of asthma is made. In addition to other pulmonary and cardiac conditions, vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a common asthma mimic that can be challenging to distinguish from asthma and should be considered in any asthma differential. Many asthma mimics can also co-exist with asthma and, if not recognized, make it difficult to control. In addition to objective testing, a thorough consideration of these conditions should be undertaken both at the time of initial asthma diagnosis and again in any asthma patient whose disease is unresponsive to therapy or difficult to control.


Asthma differential Vocal cord dysfunction Overdiagnosis Asthma mimics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA

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