Severe Asthma-Perspectives From Adult and Pediatric Pulmonology

Louise Fleming, Liam Heaney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Both adults and children with severe asthma represent a small proportion of the asthma population; however, they consume disproportionate resources. For both groups it is important to confirm the diagnosis of severe asthma and ensure that modifiable factors such as adherence have, as far as possible, been addressed. Most children can be controlled on inhaled corticosteroids and long term oral corticosteroid use is rare, in contrast to adults where steroid related morbidity accounts for a large proportion of the costs of severe asthma. Atopic sensitization is very common in children with severe asthma as are other atopic conditions such as allergic rhinitis and hay fever which can impact on asthma control. In adults, the role of allergic driven disease, even in those with co-existent evidence of sensitization, is unclear. There is currently an exciting pipeline of novel biologicals, particularly directed at Type 2 inflammation, which afford the possibility of improved asthma control and reduced treatment side effects for people with asthma. However, not all drugs will work for all patients and accurate phenotyping is essential. In adults the terms T2 high and T2 low asthma have been coined to describe groups of patients based on the presence/absence of eosinophilic inflammation and T-helper 2 (TH2) cytokines. Bronchoscopic studies in children with severe asthma have demonstrated that these children are predominantly eosinophilic but the cytokine patterns do not fit the T2 high paradigm suggesting other steroid resistant pathways are driving the eosinophilic inflammation. It remains to be seen whether treatments developed for adult severe asthma will be effective in children and which biomarkers will predict response.

Original languageEnglish
Article number389
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 09 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 Fleming and Heaney.


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