Severe asthma is a relatively uncommon condition in children but one which causes morbidity, occasionally mortality, and is a challenging condition to manage. There are several definitions of severe asthma, which have a common theme of poor control despite high dose inhaled corticosteroid treatment. Depending on the definition chosen, the prevalence of severe childhood asthma may be up to 5% within populations with asthma. Collectively, there is some evidence that the treatments used in severe asthma are beneficial, but a solid evidence‐base is lacking for many treatments and some treatments have recognized side effects. Evidence supporting the use of maintenance oral prednisolone and intramuscular triamcinolone is weak. Response to systemic corticosteroids is heterogeneous and recognizing phenotypes or endotypes may identify those most likely to gain maximal benefit from treatment. For children aged 6 to 11 years, the anti‐IgE biologic omalizumab is effective and anti‐IL‐5 agent (mepolizumab) has recently been licenced in Europe (but not the US). Biologics, which are licenced for >11 year olds include omalizumab, mepolizumab, benralizumab, reslizumab, and dupilumab. There is plenty that the clinician can offer to the child and adolescent with severe asthma in 2019, including nontherapeutic and therapeutic interventions. To manage severe asthma, practitioners from broad specialities must establish and maintain a close therapeutic relationship with patients. Looking beyond 2019, more treatment options will emerge for severe childhood asthma, and clinical teams will need to continue weighing up benefits and harms.
- randomized controlled trial
- PROBLEMATIC SEVERE ASTHMA
- RESISTANT ASTHMA
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health