Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs (Ribonucleic acids) with regulatory functions that could prove useful as biomarkers for asthma diagnosis and asthma severity-risk stratification. The objective of this systematic review is to identify panels of miRNAs that can be used to support asthma diagnosis and severity-risk assessment. Three databases (Medline, Embase, and SCOPUS) were searched up to 15 September 2020 to identify studies reporting differential expression of specific miRNAs in the tissues of adults and children with asthma. Studies reporting miRNAs associations in animal models that were also studied in humans were included in this review. We identified 75 studies that met our search criteria. Of these, 66 studies reported more than 200 miRNAs that are differentially expressed in asthma patients when compared to non-asthmatic controls. In addition, 16 studies reported 17 miRNAs that are differentially expressed with differences in asthma severity. We were able to construct two panels of miRNAs that are expressed in blood and can serve as core panels to further investigate the practicality and efficiency of using miRNAs as non-invasive biomarkers for asthma diagnosis and severity-risk assessment, respectively.
Keywords: asthma; asthma severity; biomarker; diagnosis; micro RNA.