Childhood asthma is a common condition. Currently there is no validated objective test which can be used to guide asthma treatment in children. This study tests the hypothesis that the addition of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) monitoring in addition to standard care reduces the number of exacerbations (or attacks) in children with asthma.
This is a multi-centre, randomised controlled study. Children will be included of age 6–16 years who have a diagnosis of asthma, currently use inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) and have had an exacerbation in the previous 12 months. Exclusion criteria include being unable to provide FENO measurement at baseline assessment, having another chronic respiratory condition and being currently treated with maintenance oral steroids. Participants will be recruited in both primary and secondary care settings and will be randomised to either receive asthma treatment guided by FENO plus symptoms (FENO group) or asthma treatment guided by symptoms only (standard care group). Within the FENO group, different treatment decisions will be made dependent on changes in FENO. Participants will attend assessments 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post randomisation. The primary outcome is asthma exacerbation requiring prescription and/or use of an oral corticosteroid over 12 months as recorded by the participant/parent or in general practitioner records. Secondary outcomes include time to first attack, number of attacks, asthma control score and quality of life. Adherence to ICS treatment is objectively measured by an electronic logging device. Participants are invited to participate in a “phenotyping” assessment where skin prick reactivity and bronchodilator response are determined and a saliva sample is collected for DNA extraction. Qualitative interviews will be held with participants and research nurses. A health economic evaluation will take place.
This study will evaluate whether FENO can provide an objective index to guide and stratify asthma treatment in children.
ISRCTN, ISRCTN67875351. Registered on 12 April 2017. Prospectively registered.
- SPUTUM EOSINOPHIL COUNTS
- AIRWAY INFLAMMATION