Obstruction phenotype as a predictor of asthma severity and instability in children

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The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology


BACKGROUND: Small-airways instability resulting in premature airway closure has been recognized as a risk for asthma severity and poor control. Although spirometry has limited sensitivity for detecting small-airways dysfunction, a focus on the air-trapping component of obstruction might identify a risk factor for asthma instability.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to use spirometric measurements to identify patterns of airway obstruction in children and define obstruction phenotypes that relate to asthma instability.

METHODS: Prebronchodilation and postbronchodilation spirometric data were obtained from 560 children in the Asthma Phenotypes in the Inner City study. An air-trapping obstruction phenotype (A Trpg) was defined as a forced vital capacity (FVC) z score of less than -1.64 or an increase in FVC of 10% of predicted value or greater with bronchodilation. The airflow limitation phenotype (A Limit) had an FEV

RESULTS: Patients with the A Trpg phenotype (14% of the cohort) had more exacerbations during the 12-month study compared with those with the A Limit (P < .03) and None (P < .001) phenotypes. Patients with the A Trpg phenotype also had the highest Composite Asthma Severity Index score, the highest asthma treatment step, the greatest variability in FEV

CONCLUSIONS: A Trpg and A Limit patterns of obstruction, as defined by using routine spirometric measurements, can identify obstruction phenotypes that are indicators of risk for asthma severity and instability.

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