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SHORTNESS OF BREATH
Not always easy to diagnose, particularly if patient presents with chronic rather than acute symptoms; cause may be cardiac, respiratory or other. Difficulty breathing is called dyspnoea.
Two scales used to assess breathlessness are:
• Medical Research Council (MRC) Dyspnoea Scale, used in patients with COPD, grading 1-5
• New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification of Breathlessness, used in patients with heart failure, grading I-IV.
A modified version of the MRC Dyspnoea Scale (mMRC) is recommended in the GOLD COPD guidelines, and is available as an online calculator at https://www.mdcalc.com/mmrc-modified-medical-research-council-dyspnea-scale