The diagnosis in the second case is emphysema. There is considerable overlap between emphysema, asthma, and chronic bronchitis. In fact, the term chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can denote either a combination of all 3 diseases or 1 disease alone. In cases of emphysema, the predominant auscultatory finding is diminished vesicular breath sounds. If asthma were the diagnosis, then wheezing would be the most likely auscultatory finding; if chronic bronchitis were the diagnosis, then rhonchi would be the most likely auscultatory finding.
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