Ask the Pediatric Cardiologist: Cardiac Asthma
What is "cardiac asthma"? I thought asthma was caused by allergies. My son has seasonal asthma and takes an inhaler. Does he have a heart problem also?
Asthma is a spasm of small air tubes (bronchioles) in the lungs caused by many factors that affect how air passes through the lungs. These include allergies, pollens, pollutants, exercise, stress and lung disease. Patients usually have difficulty breathing associated with wheezing and coughing. Treatment is directed at opening up the small air tubes with inhalers or other oral medications. Most children with asthma have this type of problem.
"Cardiac asthma" mimics lung asthma but is much less common. Patients with heart failure or heart valves that don't open properly can also experience wheezing and coughing that is known as cardiac asthma. However, the bronchial spasm in cardiac asthma is caused by back pressure from the left side of the heart to the lungs.
Symptoms usually occur with exercise or at night after going to bed. If a child has a congenital heart defect, coughing and wheezing may be symptoms of heart failure and require evaluation by a congenital heart specialist. Special tests such as an echocardiogram or chest x-ray may be required to determine if a child has a congenital heart defect.
Treatment is directed at improving the pump function of the heart with medications. If the asthma is caused by a heart valve that is not working properly, or a hole between the heart chambers, surgery or other procedures may be required.
He had a VSD an ASD and a pda ligation all repaired now he has a complete RBBB, PFO, right ventricluar outflow track obstruction, bi directional at times, mild pulmonary stenosis, pectus ex, (mild),
he does get tachy and brady at times (many for tachy) and he has the narrowing of his heart. he is not wheezing when you hear his breathing from his throat, all his specialist have said that.
we go next month to see his cardilogist and I will ask about the cardiac asthma
thank you for your help
Also Jack, If you used to have CHF and that was taken care of since your surgery, can you still have CARDIAC ASTHMA Chris had CHF on day 2 of his birth and was put on dig and lasix after his surgery when he was 3 1/2 months old they kept him on it, lasix until he was 6 months. then he has not had any CHF since then. he goes yearly for a ehco and he just had a cath and EP study. would that show CA all I know is SOMETHING IS WRONG and I am so tired of him not being able to walk. his breathing sounds a lot and at night I would swear to God that his sats are low due tothe way he is breathing but the are usually fine
thanks for your help
I have lost 4 posts or attempts at posting to you in the last hour. Let me try tomorrow :(