Severe asthma: follow-up after one year from the Italian Registry on Severe Asthma (IRSA)

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2023 Sep;55(5):199-211. doi: 10.23822/EurAnnACI.1764-1489.304. Epub 2023 Jul 17.


Background. Asthma affects millions of people worldwide, with a subgroup suffering from severe asthma (SA). Biologics have revolutionized SA treatment, but challenges remain in managing different patient traits. This study analyzed data from the Italian Registry on Severe Asthma (IRSA) to investigate changes in SA characteristics and effectiveness of treatments after one year of follow-up, and to identify factors associated with response to treatments in a real-world setting. Methods. Data on SA patients with one year of follow-up were extracted from IRSA. Asthma control, exacerbations, lung function, and treatments, were assessed at follow-up and analyzed against baseline characteristics. Results. After one year of follow-up, notable improvements were observed in all the outcomes of SA of the included patients (n = 570). The effectiveness of biologic therapies was particularly evident, as they contributed significantly to these positive outcomes. Additionally, certain factors were found to be associated with improvement, namely T2 phenotype, baseline eosinophil count (BEC), and area of residence. On the other hand, comorbidities (obesity, gastro-esophageal reflux disease) and poor lung function were risk factors. Notably, poor-responders to biologics exhibited lower level of education, BEC, and exacerbations, and higher frequency of atopy and ACT score ≥ 20. Conclusions. The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of biologics in asthma management, when implemented as part of a planned follow-up strategy aimed at optimizing and fine-tuning the therapy. Moreover, the study highlights the importance of considering key traits such as the T2 phenotype, BEC, education, and comorbidities when tailoring SA treatment. Overall, this study contributes to enhancing our understanding of SA management and guiding the development of personalized treatment approaches for patients with SA.

Keywords: Severe asthma; asthma management; biologics; phenotyping; real-world; registry.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Asthma* / drug therapy
  • Biological Products* / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Poaceae
  • Portugal / epidemiology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic*
  • Standard of Care


  • Biological Products
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents