• Bronchial asthma in childhood is a major pediatric problem for the physician, both as an acute emergency and as a chronic disease. To adequately manage asthma, one must have a firm understanding of its pathogenesis, and the clinical aspects of diagnosis and therapy. We review important developments in the area of the basic mechanisms causing bronchial obstruction, and methods of measuring the abnormalities present. This presentation includes the fields of neuropharmacology, biochemistry, immunology, and pulmonary physiology. With this background, the clinical aspects of diagnosis and therapy are explored. The role of the allergy history, skin testing, measurement of serum IgE antibodies, and target organ provocation testing are placed in perspective. Therapy involving avoidance measures, use of pharmacologic agents and injection therapy with inhalant allergens are discussed in detail.
(Am J Dis Child 130:890-899, 1976)