Acute chest syndrome is a frequent cause of acute lung disease in children with sickle-cell disease. Asthma is common in children with sickle-cell disease and is associated with increased incidence of vaso-occlusive pain events, acute chest syndrome episodes, and earlier death. Risk factors for asthma exacerbation and an acute chest syndrome episode are similar, and both can present with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and wheezing. Despite overlapping risk factors and symptoms, an acute exacerbation of asthma or an episode of acute chest syndrome are two distinct entities that need disease-specific management strategies. Although understanding has increased about asthma as a comorbidity in sickle-cell disease and its effects on morbidity, substantial gaps remain in knowledge about best management.
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