September 8, 2010

Back to the Basics for Asthma Treatment

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Researchers say as many as 50 percent treatment-resistant asthma cases in kids are misdiagnosed.  Many children will respond to therapy if managed properly, according to new studies.

Research shows many cases of apparently treatment-resistant asthma happen because of poor management of the basics including adherence to treatment, inhaler technique, dose and frequency, and minimization of exposure to environmental triggers such as allergens and smoke.

Study authors point out that tackling severe asthma requires a multidisciplinary effort including a detailed re-evaluation to confirm the diagnosis and ensure basic management strategies are being dealt with correctly.  This should be followed by a filtering process to examine whether the asthma is exacerbated by coomorbidities such as obesity or food allergies.

Once the basics are being taken care of properly, they suggest two stages of invasive investigations to re-assess symptoms, followed by the development of an individualized treatment plan specifically for that patient. They point out that future treatment options include promising therapies in adults, such as monoclonal antibody therapies and bronchial thermoplasty, but data in children is required first.

"Despite the interest in innovative approaches, getting the basics right in children with apparently severe asthma will remain the foundation of management in the foreseeable future," study authors concluded.

SOURCE: The Lancet, published online September 2, 2010