Asthma exacerbations in children are predicted by (simple) asthma control score and (complex) test of IL-5 in breath

This prospective one-year study evaluated the ability of non-invasive inflammatory markers in exhaled breath to predict exacerbations of childhood asthma and included 40 children (aged 6-16 yrs). Regular two-month visits at the outpatient clinic were performed. During the course of the study, 16 children developed exacerbations, of which 10 were moderate and 6 severe.

Significant predictors of asthma exacerbation included:

- breath condensate acidity
- interleukin-5 (IL-5)
- asthma control score

Crystal structure of human IL-5. Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

The exacerbations were best predicted by the asthma control score and by the level of interleukin-5 in exhaled breath condensate. There was a 2-times reduced risk on exacerbations in children with the 10% most optimal values of IL-5 and asthma control score.

Both exhaled breath condensate interleukin-5 level and asthma control score were significant predictors of asthma exacerbations. These parameters can optimize the titration of asthma treatments.


Prediction of asthma exacerbations in children: results of a one-year prospective study. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2012.03992.x

Interleukin-5 (IL-5)

Title based on a tweet by @AllergyNet

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