Back to Browse Journals » Journal of Asthma and Allergy » Volume 4

Clinical update on the use of biomarkers of airway inflammation in the management of asthma

Authors Wadsworth SJ, Sin DD, Dorscheid DR

Published 30 June 2011 Volume 2011:4 Pages 77—86


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

SJ Wadsworth1,2, DD Sin1,2, DR Dorscheid1,2
1UBC James Hogg Research Centre, Providence Heart and Lung Institute, St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, Canada; 2Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada

Abstract: Biological markers are already used in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Biomarkers have great potential use in the clinic as a noninvasive means to make more accurate diagnoses, monitor disease progression, and create personalized treatment regimes. Asthma is a heterogeneous disease with several different phenotypes, generally triggered by multiple gene-environment interactions. Pulmonary function tests are most often used objectively to confirm the diagnosis. However, airflow obstruction can be variable and thus missed using spirometry. Furthermore, lung function measurements may not reflect the precise underlying pathological processes responsible for different phenotypes. Inhaled corticosteroids and ß2-agonists have been the mainstay of asthma therapy for over 30 years, but the heterogeneity of the disease means not all asthmatics respond to the same treatment. High costs and undesired side effects of drugs also drive the need for better targeted treatment of asthma. Biomarkers have the potential to indicate an individual's disease phenotype and thereby guide clinicians in their decisions regarding treatment. This review focuses on biomarkers of airway inflammation which may help us to identify, monitor, and guide treatment of asthmatics. We discuss biomarkers obtained from multiple physiological sources, including sputum, exhaled gases, exhaled breath condensate, serum, and urine. We discuss the inherent limitations and benefits of using biomarkers in a heterogeneous disease such as asthma. We also discuss how we may modify our study designs to improve the identification and potential use of potential biomarkers in asthma.

Keywords: asthma, inflammation, airway biomarkers, urinary biomarkers, serum biomarkers

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML] 


Readers of this article also read:

Occurrence of anti-D alloantibodies among pregnant women in Kasese District, Western Uganda

Mbalibulha Y, Muwanguzi E, Mugyenyi GR, Natukunda B

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:125-129

Published Date: 17 April 2015

Romiplostim as a treatment for immune thrombocytopenia: a review

Chalmers S, Tarantino MD

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:37-44

Published Date: 19 January 2015

A new recombinant factor VIII: from genetics to clinical use

Santagostino E

Drug Design, Development and Therapy 2014, 8:2507-2515

Published Date: 12 December 2014

Single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety of apixaban in healthy Chinese subjects [Corrigendum]

Cui Y, Song Y, Wang J, Yu Z, Schuster A, Barrett YC, Frost C

Clinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications 2014, 6:61-62

Published Date: 27 March 2014

Clinical utility of asthma biomarkers: from bench to bedside

Vijverberg SJH, Hilvering B, Raaijmakers JA, Lammers JW, Maitland-van der Zee AH, Koenderman L

Biologics: Targets and Therapy 2013, 7:199-210

Published Date: 29 August 2013

The protective effects of lafutidine for bortezomib induced peripheral neuropathy

Tsukaguchi M, Shibano M, Matsuura A, Mukai S

Journal of Blood Medicine 2013, 4:81-85

Published Date: 11 July 2013

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012