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      Management based on exhaled nitric oxide levels adjusted for atopy reduces asthma exacerbations in children: A dual centre randomized controlled trial.

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          Abstract

          While several randomized control trials (RCTs) have evaluated the use of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) to improve asthma outcomes, none used FeNO cut-offs adjusted for atopy, a determinant of FeNO levels. In a dual center RCT, we assessed whether a treatment strategy based on FeNO levels, adjusted for atopy, reduces asthma exacerbations compared with the symptoms-based management (controls). Children with asthma from hospital clinics of two hospitals were randomly allocated to receive an a-priori determined treatment hierarchy based on symptoms or FeNO levels. There was a 2-week run-in period and they were then reviewed 10 times over 12-months. The primary outcome was the number of children with exacerbations over 12-months. Sixty-three children were randomized (FeNO = 31, controls = 32); 55 (86%) completed the study. Although we did achieve our planned sample size, significantly fewer children in the FeNO group (6 of 27) had an asthma exacerbation compared to controls (15 of 28), P = 0.021; number to treat for benefit = 4 (95% CI 3-24). There was no difference between groups for any secondary outcomes (quality of life, symptoms, FEV1 ). The final daily inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) dose was significantly (P = 0.037) higher in the FeNO group (median 400 µg, IQR 250-600) compared to the controls (200, IQR100-400). Taking atopy into account when using FeNO to tailor asthma medications is likely beneficial in reducing the number of children with severe exacerbations at the expense of increased ICS use. However, the strategy is unlikely beneficial for improving asthma control. A larger study is required to confirm or refute our findings.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Asthma exacerbations and sputum eosinophil counts: a randomised controlled trial.

          Treatment decisions in asthma are based on assessments of symptoms and simple measures of lung function, which do not relate closely to underlying eosinophilic airway inflammation. We aimed to assess whether a management strategy that minimises eosinophilic inflammation reduces asthma exacerbations compared with a standard management strategy. We recruited 74 patients with moderate to severe asthma from hospital clinics and randomly allocated them to management either by standard British Thoracic Society asthma guidelines (BTS management group) or by normalisation of the induced sputum eosinophil count and reduction of symptoms (sputum management group). We assessed patients nine times over 12 months. The results were used to manage those in the sputum management group, but were not disclosed in the BTS group. The primary outcomes were the number of severe exacerbations and control of eosinophilic inflammation, measured by induced sputum eosinophil count. Analyses were by intention to treat. The sputum eosinophil count was 63% (95% CI 24-100) lower over 12 months in the sputum management group than in the BTS management group (p=0.002). Patients in the sputum management group had significantly fewer severe asthma exacerbations than did patients in the BTS management group (35 vs 109; p=0.01) and significantly fewer patients were admitted to hospital with asthma (one vs six, p=0.047). The average daily dose of inhaled or oral corticosteroids did not differ between the two groups. A treatment strategy directed at normalisation of the induced sputum eosinophil count reduces asthma exacerbations and admissions without the need for additional anti-inflammatory treatment.
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            Status of childhood asthma in the United States, 1980-2007.

            Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data were used to describe 1980-2007 trends among children 0 to 17 years of age and recent patterns according to gender, race, and age. Asthma period prevalence increased by 4.6% per year from 1980 to 1996. New measures introduced in 1997 show a plateau at historically high levels; 9.1% of US children (6.7 million) currently had asthma in 2007. Ambulatory care visit rates fluctuated during the 1990 s, whereas emergency department visits and hospitalization rates decreased slightly. Asthma-related death rates increased through the middle 1990 s but decreased after 1999. Recent data showed higher prevalence among older children (11-17 years), but the highest rates of asthma-related health care use were among the youngest children (0-4 years). After controlling for racial differences in prevalence, disparities in adverse outcomes remained; among children with asthma, non-Hispanic black children had greater risks for emergency department visits and death, compared with non-Hispanic white children. For hospitalizations, for which Hispanic ethnicity data were not available, black children had greater risk than white children. However, nonemergency ambulatory care use was lower for non-Hispanic black children. Although the large increases in childhood asthma prevalence have abated, the burden remains large. Potentially avoidable adverse outcomes and racial disparities continue to present challenges. These findings suggest the need for sustained asthma prevention and control efforts for children.
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              Use of exhaled nitric oxide measurements to guide treatment in chronic asthma.

              International guidelines for the treatment of asthma recommend adjusting the dose of inhaled corticosteroids on the basis of symptoms, bronchodilator requirements, and the results of pulmonary-function tests. Measurements of the fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FE(NO)) constitute a noninvasive marker that may be a useful alternative for the adjustment of inhaled-corticosteroid treatment. In a single-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 97 patients with asthma who had been regularly receiving treatment with inhaled corticosteroids to have their corticosteroid dose adjusted, in a stepwise fashion, on the basis of either FE(NO) measurements or an algorithm based on conventional guidelines. After the optimal dose was determined (phase 1), patients were followed up for 12 months (phase 2). The primary outcome was the frequency of exacerbations of asthma; the secondary outcome was the mean daily dose of inhaled corticosteroid. Forty-six patients in the FE(NO) group and 48 in the group whose asthma was treated according to conventional guidelines (the control group) completed the study. The final mean daily doses of fluticasone, the inhaled corticosteroid that was used, were 370 microg per day for the FE(NO) group (95 percent confidence interval, 263 to 477) and 641 microg per day for the control group (95 percent confidence interval, 526 to 756; P=0.003), a difference of 270 microg per day (95 percent confidence interval, 112 to 430). The rates of exacerbation were 0.49 episode per patient per year in the FE(NO) group (95 percent confidence interval, 0.20 to 0.78) and 0.90 in the control group (95 percent confidence interval, 0.31 to 1.49), representing a nonsignificant reduction of 45.6 percent (95 percent confidence interval for mean difference, -78.6 percent to 54.5 percent) in the FE(NO) group. There were no significant differences in other markers of asthma control, use of oral prednisone, pulmonary function, or levels of airway inflammation (sputum eosinophils). With the use of FE(NO) measurements, maintenance doses of inhaled corticosteroids may be significantly reduced without compromising asthma control. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pediatr. Pulmonol.
                Pediatric pulmonology
                Wiley
                1099-0496
                1099-0496
                Jun 2015
                : 50
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute, Queensland University of Technology, Herston, Australia.
                [2 ] Department of Paediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.
                [3 ] General Paediatrician, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
                [4 ] School of Nursing & Midwifery, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
                [5 ] Child Health Division, Menzies School of Health, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
                Article
                10.1002/ppul.23064
                24891337

                FeNO, asthma, pediatrics, atopy

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