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. 2018 Sep 17;2018:3254094.
doi: 10.1155/2018/3254094. eCollection 2018.

Omalizumab for Severe Asthma: Beyond Allergic Asthma

Free PMC article

Omalizumab for Severe Asthma: Beyond Allergic Asthma

C C Loureiro et al. Biomed Res Int. .
Free PMC article


Different subsets of asthma patients may be recognized according to the exposure trigger and the frequency and severity of clinical signs and symptoms. Regarding the exposure trigger, generally asthma can be classified as allergic (or atopic) and nonallergic (or nonatopic). Allergic and nonallergic asthma are distinguished by the presence or absence of clinical allergic reaction and in vitro IgE response to specific aeroallergens. The mechanisms of allergic asthma have been extensively studied with major advances in the last two decades. Nonallergic asthma is characterized by its apparent independence from allergen exposure and sensitization and a higher degree of severity, but little is known regarding the underlying mechanisms. Clinically, allergic and nonallergic asthma are virtually indistinguishable in exacerbations, although exacerbation following allergen exposure is typical of allergic asthma. Although they both show several distinct clinical phenotypes and different biomarkers, there are no ideal biomarkers to stratify asthma phenotypes and guide therapy in clinical practice. Nevertheless, some biomarkers may be helpful to select subsets of atopic patients which might benefit from biologic agents, such as omalizumab. Patients with severe asthma, uncontrolled besides optimal treatment, notwithstanding nonatopic, may also benefit from omalizumab therapy, although currently there are no randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trials to support this suggestion. However, omalizumab discontinuation according to each patient's response to therapy and pharmacoeconomical analysis are questions that remain to be answered.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Proposed biomarkers to stratify asthma by phenotypes are still not robust enough to guide therapy in clinical practice.

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