Which assessments can be used to determine a patient’s response to treatment for asthma?

Updated: Jan 07, 2019
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Perform a functional assessment of airway obstruction with a measurement of the FEV1 or peak expiratory flow (PEF) initially to assess the patient's response to treatment. PEF measurement is inexpensive and portable. Serial measurements document response to therapy and, along with other parameters, are helpful in the ED setting for determining whether to admit the patient to the hospital or discharge from the ED. A limitation of PEF is that it is dependent on effort by the patient. FEV1 is also effort dependent but less so than PEF.

A study by van den Berge examined the increased interest in small airway disease and new insights that have been gained about the contribution of small airways to the clinical expression of asthma and COPD. New devices enable drugs to target the small airways and may have implications for treatment of patients with asthma, particularly those who do not respond to large-particle inhaled corticosteroids and patients with uncontrollable asthma. [104]


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