chapter  21
Fibroblasts and the Extracellular Matrix in Asthma
Pages 26

The view of asthma as an inflammatory disease, characterized by the presence of a chronic inflammatory infiltrate in the airways, has now become widely accepted. In other pathological situations, chronic inflammation is frequently accompanied by the development of structural changes in tissues referred to as remodeling. Although this process undoubtedly also occcurs in astluna, it has until recently received relatively little attention. Nevertheless, such changes are likely to have important pathophysiological consequences. In particular, they may not only contribute significantly to bronchial hyperreactivity (1) but also be an important factor in the development of irreversible airway obstruction and the gradual decline in lung function that occur in a proportion of patients with chronic asthma (2,3).