What is the role of genetics in the pathogenesis of pediatric asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Some studies highlight the importance of genotypes in contributing to asthma susceptibility and allergic sensitization, as well as response to specific asthma treatments. [10, 11, 12, 13]

Through the use of cluster analysis, the Severe Asthma Research Program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute identified 5 phenotypes of asthma. [14] Cluster 1 patients have early-onset atopic asthma with normal lung function treated with two or fewer controller medications and minimal health care utilization. Cluster 2 patients have early-onset atopic asthma and preserved lung function but increased medication requirements (29% on three or more medications) and health care utilization.

Cluster 3 comprises mostly older obese women with late-onset nonatopic asthma, moderate reductions in pulmonary function, and frequent oral corticosteroid use to manage exacerbations. Cluster 4 and cluster 5 patients have severe airflow obstruction with bronchodilator responsiveness but differ in to their ability to attain normal lung function, age of asthma onset, atopic status, and use of oral corticosteroids. [14]

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