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Minerva Medica 2016 February;107(1 Suppl 1):1-4

language: English

Asthma in pregnancy: one more piece of the puzzle

Alessandro ZANFORLIN 1, Angelo G. CORSICO 2, Fabiano DI MARCO 3, Vincenzo PATELLA 4, Nicola SCICHILONE 5

1 Multidisciplinary Medical Unit, San Luca Hospital, Trecenta, Rovigo, Italy; 2 Pneumology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Therapy, San Matteo Polyclinic and Institute for Scientific Research, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 3 Department of Pneumology, San Paolo Hospital, Department of Health Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 4 Allergy and Clinical Immunology Unit, Department of Medical Sciences, Battipaglia Hospital, Battipaglia, Salerno, Italy; 5 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


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Asthma is the most commonly occurring respiratory complication during pregnancy, and is associated with a wide range of adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes. However, there is strong evidence that an adequate control of asthma can improve the health of both mothers and their babies. Despite the well-known risks of poorly-controlled asthma during pregnancy, a large proportion of women have sub-optimal asthma control, due to concerns surrounding risks related to pharmacological agents and uncertainties regarding the effectiveness and safety of different management strategies. A recent retrospective study showed that step-up therapy with low-dose inhaled corticosteroids / long-acting β2-agonist inhalers (ICS/LABA) or high-dose ICS presents the same risk profile in terms of major congenital malformations. These results are consistent with asthma management guidelines and provide scientific evidence to help physicians and mothers make evidence-based treatment decisions during pregnancy, particularly when stepping up to higher doses of ICS or addition of a LABA are required. These reassuring results should encourage women to continue their asthma medications when required to control their asthma during pregnancy and increase the likelihood of healthy pregnancies and newborns. This commentary focuses on some critical issues of this recent work and to the need of future study to evaluate the safety during pregnancy of novel molecules recently introduced for asthma treatment.

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