Optimal use of biologic therapy for severe uncontrolled asthma rests on understanding of the disease itself. Try this quick quiz to test your knowledge.
Severe uncontrolled asthma remains a complex clinical challenge despite the emergence in recent years of novel biologic therapies. The authors of a comprehensive review and international expert opinion published this month in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, provide a set of essential clinical variables they believe are most relevant to managing severe asthma in adults and in optimizing the choice of biologic treatment.
The 5 questions that follow are based on the key factors they identify that go into effective treatment decision making.
1. What percentage of patients with asthma have severe asthma?
Answer: ~5% to 10% of individuals with asthm have severe asthma.
2. When is asthma classified as severe?
Answer: Asthma is classified as severe when maximal, high-intensity treatment is needed for control and when the disease remains uncontrolled despite treatment adherence
3. How much more likely are asthma exacerbations to occur in patients who have uncontrolled asthma?
Answer: Asthma exacerbations are 3 times more likely to occur in patients who have uncontrolled asthma.
4. Type 2 (T2) asthma represents approximately what percentage of severe asthma cases?
Answer: Type 2 (T2) asthma represents approximately 70% of severe asthma cases.
5. In eosinophilic asthma, elevated blood eosinophil counts (BEC) are associated with which of the above?
Answer: In eosinophilic asthma, elevated BEC are associated with more severe disease, increased frequency of exacerbations, and asthma mortality.