Obstructive lung diseases: COPD, asthma, and many imitators

J. H. Ryu, P. D. Scanlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common respiratory disorder that occurs in 10% to 15% of people who smoke, an estimated 16 million Americans. Asthma is also common. Spirometry is generally used to detect early COPD in smokers and to evaluate patients with respiratory symptoms. Although COPD and asthma account for most obstructive lung diseases, a broad spectrum of other disorders, including bronchiectasis, upper airway lesions, bronchiolar diseases, and some interstitial lung diseases, are associated with airflow obstruction. These less common forms of obstructive lung diseases are often misdiagnosed because of their uncommon occurence and poor recognition. We describe the heterogeneous spectrum of disorders that can present with evidence of airflow obstruction and outline a diagnostic approach to obstructive lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1144-1153
Number of pages10
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001


  • COPD = Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • DLCO = Diffusing capacity of lung for carbon monoxide
  • FVC = Forced vital capacity
  • HIV = Human immunodeficiency virus
  • HRCT = High-resolution computed tomography
  • LAM = Lymphangiomyomatosis
  • UAO = Upper airway obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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