Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways in the lungs of children and adults.
The patient usually complains of shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing with wheezing.
A diagnosis of asthma in young children is more likely if they have
symptom patterns, presence of risk factors for development of asthma and
therapeutic response to controller treatment.
Goals of treatment are effective symptom control with minimal or no
exacerbations, minimal or no nocturnal and daytime symptoms, no
limitations on activities, minimal or no need for reliever treatment,
and minimal adverse effects of medication.
In children with asthma, genotype testing identifies a specific genetic alteration associated with poor response to long-acting β2 agonist (LABA), as shown in the PACT trial. This information proves useful in prescribing appropriate medications and improving asthma control.
Children with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at heightened risk of developing asthma, and those with asthma are prone to develop GERD, according to a study, which suggests that the two conditions have a bidirectional relationship.
Children with controlled asthma and severe asthma appear to have slightly better school performances than their healthy counterparts, a recent study suggests. However, those with uncontrolled conditions perform worse.
In the management of children hospitalized with severe asthma exacerbations, preservative-free albuterol formulations are safer for use in continuous nebulization compared with a benzalkonium chloride (BAC)-containing formulation, which is associated with longer treatment duration and additional respiratory support, as shown in a recent study.
Frequent exposure to household cleaning products during early life is associated with a greater risk of childhood asthma and wheeze at age 3 years, according to the CHILD* cohort study — adding to the growing call to action on the risk of cleaning products as irritants for airways of young children.
Children of women who had asthma exacerbations during pregnancy were more likely have respiratory disorders such as asthma and pneumonia than those whose mothers did not — suggesting that the effects of asthma exacerbations during pregnancy may transcend generations, a study finds. This was in addition to having an increased risk of adverse pregnancy and perinatal outcomes.
A 4-week course of amoxicillin-clavulanate in children with protracted bacterial bronchitis (PBB) does not improve cough resolution rates compared with a 2-week course, according to a study from Australia. However, the longer course may significantly extend time to first cough exacerbation.