The irreversible component of persistent asthma

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;124(5):883-90; quiz 891-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.09.047.


Irreversible airflow obstruction or limitation occurs in some patients with asthma, can develop early in life, and becomes more common as asthma becomes more severe. Efforts to understand irreversible airflow obstruction or limitation have been hampered by the lack of a standardized definition of the phenotype and by the lack of appropriate research models. Unfortunately, it appears that currently available asthma treatments do not prevent this important asthma complication. Herein, the evidence of an irreversible component of asthma, its underlying pathology, and the limitations of current asthma treatments are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents