Unbound MEDLINE

Definitions of asthma exacerbations.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW
During the past decade exacerbations of asthma have increasingly been recognized a as primary outcome parameter in clinical research. However, comparison of results is hampered by the use of different definitions for asthma exacerbations in published reports. The purpose of this review is to describe the consequences of using different definitions and to propose possible solutions.
RECENT FINDINGS
The use of different definitions of asthma exacerbations not only influences incidence rates, but also affects patient identification and risk assessment. The American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society and the World Health Organization independently proposed consensus definitions based on clinical symptoms and management. This needs to be complemented by a prospective definition that may support clinicians in their treatment decisions.
CONCLUSION
Currently there is no commonly accepted definition for asthma exacerbations. A prospective definition is desirable. This could be obtained by phenotyping asthma exacerbations based on clinical signs, lung function parameters and possibly other biomarkers.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Loymans RJ, Ter Riet G, Sterk PJ

    Institution

    Department of General Practice, Academic Medical Centre - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. r.j.loijmans@amc.uva.nl

    Source

    Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology 11:3 2011 Jun pg 181-6

    MeSH

    Asthma
    Biological Markers
    Clinical Trials as Topic
    Disease Progression
    Humans
    Incidence
    Respiratory Function Tests
    Risk Assessment
    Severity of Illness Index
    Statistics as Topic

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    21467926