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Causes of Dyspnea (Shortness of breath), Differential diagnosis

What is meant by Dyspnea ?

Dyspnea means shortness of breath and it is usually due to respiratory or cardiac disorder .

What are the possible causes of Acute Dyspnea ?

The common causes of Acute Dyspnea in Adults are :

  • Pulmonary edema
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Noxious gas inhalation
  • High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) 
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Obstructed Airway e.g Foreign body or Epiglottitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchial Asthma
  • Spontaneous Pneumothorax
  • myasthenia Gravis
Dyspnea should be differentiated from other causes of chest pain .

Causes of Acute Dyspnea in Children

  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Croup
  • Epiglottitis
  • Foreign Body Aspiration
  • Myocarditis
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Tamer Mobarak

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