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Minerva Pediatrica 2020 June;72(3):196-205

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.20.05818-1

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Severe uncontrolled asthma in children: practical approach on diagnosis and management

Riccardo CASTAGNOLI, Alessia MARSEGLIA, Ilaria BRAMBILLA, Gian Luigi MARSEGLIA, Amelia LICARI

Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Clinic, Policlinico San Matteo IRCCS Foundation, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy



Severe uncontrolled asthma in children is a complex and heterogeneous disease and is considered a challenge for the pediatricians. Although nearly 5% of children with asthma present with a severe uncontrolled disease, these patients and their caregivers face a significant burden, including troublesome persistent symptoms, life-threatening acute attacks, medication side effects, impaired school performance, neuropsychological problems, and lower quality of life (QoL). Moreover, these patients also account for substantially higher healthcare resource use and costs than average patients with asthma. Thus, it is essential to accurately define and diagnose severe asthma in children as they potentially need close monitoring and additional treatment with advanced therapies. This review aims to update knowledge on diagnosis and management of severe uncontrolled asthma in childhood. We describe a practical approach to differentiate children with difficult-to-treat asthma from those with true severe therapy-resistant asthma. Moreover, the recent advances in the understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms and inflammatory mediators involved in asthma have paved the way for the development of a precision medicine approach. In this context, we analyze approved personalized therapies for severe uncontrolled asthma, focusing on the pediatric indications.


KEY WORDS: Asthma, prevention and control; Diagnosis; Asthma, therapy; Omalizumab; Dupilumab; Mepolizumab

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