Acute Severe Asthma Asthma Physiotherapy Pulmonary medicine Pulmonology

Clinical Features of Acute Severe Asthma

In this article we will discuss the Clinical Features of Acute Severe Asthma.

In this article, we will discuss the Clinical Features of Acute Severe Asthma. So, let’s get started.

Clinical Features

The clinical features result due to acute severe reversible airway obstruction resulting in dyspnea at rest, use of extra-respiratory muscles for respiration and fall in pulse pressure on inspiration (pulsus paradoxus). There is loss of adventitial breath sounds and wheezing becomes high-pitched and may even become absent. The clinical features are given below:


  • Severe respiratory distress, cough, and wheezing
  • Dyspnea at rest
  • Feeling of heaviness/tightness of chest due to increase in anteroposterior diameter of chest
  • Inability to complete the sentences without becoming breathless and may become cyanotic
  • Inability to get out of bed or get proper sleep


  • Tachypnea (respiratory rate >25/min) and tachycardia (HR >100/min)
  • Hunched shoulders, use of accessory muscles and indrawing of intercostal spaces
  • Wheezing becomes extensive and high-pitched (may become absent in severe attack)
  • Silent chest- breath sounds may be inaudible
  • Pulsus paradoxus due to reduced cardiac return as a result of hyperinflated lungs. The sign may become absent if the patient’s breathing is shallow as it requires a large negative intrathoracic pressure to produce it.

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