Author(s): Mahr TA, Malka J, Spahn JD
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Abstract The burden of pediatric asthma remains high with one-third of patients being under- or overtreated because of the unique challenges in the assessment and management of childhood asthma. Until recently, there has been no point of care tool for assessing the underlying airway inflammation (i.e., inflammometry) in asthma. Recently, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) has emerged as an important biomarker for the assessment and management of asthma. Recent evidence indicates that FeNO identifies T-helper cell type 2 (Th2)–mediated airway inflammation with a high positive and negative predictive value for identifying corticosteroid responsive airway inflammation. This article examines the evidence for FeNO as a predictor of Th2-mediated inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) responsive airway inflammation and reviews recent studies evaluating the role of FeNO, whether helpful or not, in the assessment and management of pediatric asthma. FeNO is a reliable adjunct to traditional tests in the assessment of suspected asthma. Importantly, it is useful for identifying and for excluding ICS-responsive airway inflammation. Although individual study results have varied, collectively, asthma managed using FeNO is associated with lower exacerbation rates compared with clinical algorithms alone. Finally, FeNO may be useful in identifying patients at risk for future impairment or loss of asthma control during reduction/cessation of ICS treatment. FeNO testing has an important role in the assessment of pediatric patients with suspected asthma and in the management of pediatric patients with established asthma. Additional studies will continue to define the exact role of FeNO testing in pediatric asthma.
This article was published in Allergy Asthma Proc
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy