Written by By futurity.org Monday, 23 July 2012 10:34
Five to 10 percent of patients with asthma have disease that can be classified as severe, meaning it is difficult to treat and often causes life-threatening breathing problems.
Five to 10 percent of patients with asthma have disease that can be classified as severe, meaning it is difficult to treat and often causes life-threatening breathing problems. Typically these patients are treated with the aim of reducing lung inflammation, but treatment often leads to devastating consequences due to steroid side effects.
As reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers dubbed the condition “asthmatic granulomatosis” after the characteristic small areas of focal inflammation that can be found in the lungs of those who have it.
“We’re now learning that all severe asthma is not the same, but is in fact the result of different problems,” said Sally E. Wenzel, professor, division of pulmonary, allergy, and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “If we better understand the underlying mechanisms that are causing the symptoms, we can offer better treatments.”
For the study, the team examined a group of patients with severe asthma who were being treated at the Difficult Asthma Clinic at the Comprehensive Lung Center of UPMC during a four-year period. Each of the patients met with a certified asthma educator; were taking high doses of inhaled steroids, with or without ingested steroids; and had been monitored for three to 24 months to optimize therapy.