Biomarkers in Severe Asthma

  • Wenjing Li
  • Mark C. Glaum


Severe asthma is a heterogeneous disease with a variety of different phenotypes and endotypes. Biomarkers may facilitate the diagnosis and classification of severe asthma, predict efficacy of specific therapies, and assess medication response. Pulmonary function testing is an essential biomarker for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Recently, spirometric parameters reflecting small-airway obstruction have shown promise in the diagnosis and management of certain phenotypes of asthma. In addition, the presence of potential asthma biomarkers has been examined in a variety of biological samples including exhaled breath, blood, sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, bronchial brushings, bronchial biopsies, and urine. Biomarker candidates identified in these samples include fractional exhaled nitric oxide, eosinophils, neutrophils, IgE, cytokines, chemokines, and bioactive molecules. Despite the progress made in the identification of potential biomarkers for severe asthma, further studies are still needed to standardize collection methods, quantify measurement, and assess clinical significance of candidate biomarkers. Meanwhile, with the ongoing advancement in technologies related to proteomics, genomics, and metabolomics, the potential exists to discover more and more candidate biomarkers that will ultimately aid in the diagnosis and treatment of severe asthma.


Severe asthma Diagnostic approaches Biomarkers Pulmonary function test Exhaled breath Blood Sputum Urine BAL 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AllergyTongji HospitalWuhanChina
  2. 2.Division of Allergy-Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of MedicineUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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