Non-eosinophilic asthma: current perspectives.

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Tuesday, 27 November 2018 14:09
Asthma Allergy. 2018 Oct 29;11:267-281. doi: 10.2147/JAA.S153097. eCollection 2018.

Abstract

Although non-eosinophilic asthma (NEA) is not the best known and most prevalent asthma phenotype, its importance cannot be underestimated. NEA is characterized by airway inflammation with the absence of eosinophils, subsequent to activation of non-predominant type 2 immunologic pathways. This phenotype, which possibly includes several not well-defined subphenotypes, is defined by an eosinophil count <2% in sputum. NEA has been associated with environmental and/or host factors, such as smoking cigarettes, pollution, work-related agents, infections, and obesity. These risk factors, alone or in conjunction, can activate specific cellular and molecular pathways leading to non-type 2 inflammation. The most relevant clinical trait of NEA is its poor response to standard asthma treatments, especially to inhaled corticosteroids, leading to a higher severity of disease and to difficult-to-control asthma. Indeed, NEA constitutes about 50% of severe asthma cases. Since most current and forthcoming biologic therapies specifically target type 2 asthma phenotypes, such as uncontrolled severe eosinophilic or allergic asthma, there is a dramatic lack of effective treatments for uncontrolled non-type 2 asthma. Research efforts are now focusing on elucidating the phenotypes underlying the non-type 2 asthma, and several studies are being conducted with new drugs and biologics aiming to develop effective strategies for this type of asthma, and various immunologic pathways are being scrutinized to optimize efficacy and to abolish possible adverse effects.

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2018 Diagnosis and Management of Difficult-to-treat and Severe Asthma in adolescent and adult patients

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Wednesday, 21 November 2018 23:46

The goal of this Pocket Guide is to provide a practical summary for health professionals about how to identify, assess and manage difficult-to-treat and severe asthma in adolescents and adults. It is intended for use by general practitioners (GPs, primary care physicians), pulmonary specialists and other health professionals involved in the management of people with asthma.

The recommendations in this Pocket Guide were based on evidence where good quality systematic reviews or randomized controlled trials or, lacking these, robust observational data, were available, and on consensus by expert clinicians and researchers, where not. Development of the Pocket Guide and decision tree included extensive collaboration with experts in human-centered design to enhance the utility of these resources for end-users. This means translating existing high level lowcharts and text-based information to a more detailed visual format, and applying information architecture and diagramming principles.

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Improvement of patient-reported outcomes in severe allergic asthma by omalizumab treatment: the real life observational PROXIMA study

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Monday, 12 November 2018 21:22
Original research - Open Access
Giorgio Walter CanonicaPaola RottoliCaterina BuccaMaria Cristina ZappaGiovanni MichettiBruno MacciocchiCristiano CarusoPierachille SantusMarta BartezaghiLaura Rigoni and on behalf of PROXIMA study centers

Abstract

Background

Data on the prevalence of perennial versus seasonal allergic asthma in Italy are lacking; moreover, there is limited evidence on the effect of omalizumab on patient-reported outcomes in Italian patients with severe allergic asthma. PROXIMA, an observational, multicenter study, was designed to assess the prevalence of perennial versus seasonal allergic asthma (cross-sectional phase) and the effect of omalizumab on improving illness perception, quality of life (QoL) and asthma control of Italian patients with severe allergic asthma (longitudinal phase).

Methods

The study included a cross-sectional phase (n = 357) and a longitudinal phase (n = 123): during the longitudinal phase, patients received omalizumab (75–600 mg subcutaneously every month) and were followed-up for 12 months. The primary parameter of cross-sectional phase was prevalence of perennial allergic asthma and that of longitudinal phase was proportion of patients with asthma control (assessed using asthma control questionnaire [ACQ]). Secondary parameters assessed were patients’ disease perception, level of asthma control, exacerbation rate during both cross-sectional and longitudinal phases, and patients' compliance to and persistence with omalizumab, and patients' QoL during the longitudinal phase.

Results

Most patients (95.8%) had perennial allergies; 81% had polysensitization. Of 99 patients in the per-protocol set, 95 (95.96% [95% CI: 89.98–98.89%]) achieved asthma control (ACQ < 4) at both 6 and 12 months of omalizumab treatment; ACQ score decreased after 6 and 12 months (P < 0.0001). Omalizumab treatment resulted in a significant improvement in QoL and patients’ illness perception and 87% decrease in exacerbation rate. The compliance rate with omalizumab was high (73.2%). No new safety signals were identified during treatment.

Conclusion

This study demonstrated that in severe allergic asthma, omalizumab improves patient-reported outcomes such as patients’ illness perception and QoL, while confirming improvement of asthma control and exacerbation rate reduction in Italian patients.

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Effects of Macrolide Treatment during the Hospitalization of Children with Childhood Wheezing Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Friday, 16 November 2018 23:15
J. Clin. Med. 20187(11), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7110432
 
Abstract
Children are susceptible to a variety of respiratory infections. Wheezing is a common sign presented by children with respiratory infections. Asthma, bronchiolitis, and bronchitis are common causes of childhood wheezing disease (CWD) and are regarded as overlapping disease spectra. Macrolides are common antimicrobial agents with anti-inflammatory effects. We conducted a comprehensive literature search and a systematic review of studies that investigated the influences of macrolide treatment on CWD. The primary outcomes were the impact of macrolides on hospitalization courses of patients with CWD. Data pertaining to the study population, macrolide treatment, hospital courses, and recurrences were analyzed. Twenty-three studies with a combined study population of 2210 patients were included in the systematic review. Any kind of benefit from macrolide treatment was observed in approximately two-thirds of the studies (15/23). Eight studies were included in the meta-analysis to investigate the influence of macrolides on the length of stay (LOS), duration of oxygen demand (DOD), symptoms and signs of respiratory distress, and re-admission rates. Although the benefits of macrolide treatment were reported in several of the studies, no significant differences in LOS, DOD, symptoms and signs of respiratory distress, or re-admission rates were observed in patients undergoing macrolide treatment. In conclusion, any kind of benefit of macrolide treatment was observed in approximately two-thirds of the studies; however, no obvious benefits of macrolide treatment were observed in the hospitalization courses of children with CWD. The routine use of macrolides to improve the hospitalization course of children with CWD is not suggested. 
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Vaccination and Allergic Sensitization in Early Childhood – The ALADDIN Birth Cohort

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Monday, 12 November 2018 21:21
Original research - Open Access
Giorgio Walter CanonicaPaola RottoliCaterina BuccaMaria Cristina ZappaGiovanni MichettiBruno MacciocchiCristiano CarusoPierachille SantusMarta BartezaghiLaura Rigoni and on behalf of PROXIMA study centers

Abstract

Background

Data on the prevalence of perennial versus seasonal allergic asthma in Italy are lacking; moreover, there is limited evidence on the effect of omalizumab on patient-reported outcomes in Italian patients with severe allergic asthma. PROXIMA, an observational, multicenter study, was designed to assess the prevalence of perennial versus seasonal allergic asthma (cross-sectional phase) and the effect of omalizumab on improving illness perception, quality of life (QoL) and asthma control of Italian patients with severe allergic asthma (longitudinal phase).

Methods

The study included a cross-sectional phase (n = 357) and a longitudinal phase (n = 123): during the longitudinal phase, patients received omalizumab (75–600 mg subcutaneously every month) and were followed-up for 12 months. The primary parameter of cross-sectional phase was prevalence of perennial allergic asthma and that of longitudinal phase was proportion of patients with asthma control (assessed using asthma control questionnaire [ACQ]). Secondary parameters assessed were patients’ disease perception, level of asthma control, exacerbation rate during both cross-sectional and longitudinal phases, and patients' compliance to and persistence with omalizumab, and patients' QoL during the longitudinal phase.

Results

Most patients (95.8%) had perennial allergies; 81% had polysensitization. Of 99 patients in the per-protocol set, 95 (95.96% [95% CI: 89.98–98.89%]) achieved asthma control (ACQ < 4) at both 6 and 12 months of omalizumab treatment; ACQ score decreased after 6 and 12 months (P < 0.0001). Omalizumab treatment resulted in a significant improvement in QoL and patients’ illness perception and 87% decrease in exacerbation rate. The compliance rate with omalizumab was high (73.2%). No new safety signals were identified during treatment.

Conclusion

This study demonstrated that in severe allergic asthma, omalizumab improves patient-reported outcomes such as patients’ illness perception and QoL, while confirming improvement of asthma control and exacerbation rate reduction in Italian patients.

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Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

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