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Severe uncontrolled asthma with bronchiectasis: a pilot study of an emerging phenotype that responds to mepolizumab

Authors Carpagnano GE, Scioscia G, Lacedonia D, Curradi G, Foschino Barbaro MP

Received 27 November 2018

Accepted for publication 5 February 2019

Published 5 March 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 83—90


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Charlotte Suppli Ulrik

Giovanna E Carpagnano,1 Giulia Scioscia,1 Donato Lacedonia,1 Giacomo Curradi,2 Maria Pia Foschino Barbaro1

1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy; 2Medical and Scientific Department, GlaxoSmithKline, Verona, Italy

Background: Asthma and bronchiectasis are different conditions that frequently coexist. The prevalence of bronchiectasis rises considerably in subjects with severe asthma (25%–51%).
Objective: We evaluated the clinical and biological efficacy of mepolizumab on our pilot population of severe uncontrolled asthmatics with bronchiectasis not related to other pathologies.
Patients and methods: Four patients with severe uncontrolled asthma and diagnosed as bronchiectasis were recruited and started biological treatment with mepolizumab. Standard investigations were performed in all four patients at baseline (T0), after 3 months (T1) and after 1 year (T2) of treatment.
Results: After 1 year (T2) of therapy with mepolizumab, patients showed a significant increment of asthma control test value (12±1.1 vs 24.5±0.3, P<0.01), a reduction of the number of exacerbations/year (5±0.7 vs 0.75±0.75, P<0.01), an increase of pre-bronchodilator FEV1 (1,680±500 vs 1,860±550 mL, P<0.01) and a reduction of eosinophils in blood (0.75±0.14 vs 0.12±0.02 cells/µL, P<0.01), in the sputum (9.6%±2.1% vs 5.6%±2.7%, P<0.05) and in nasal cytology (++ vs +).
Conclusion: The efficacy of mepolizumab in terms of reduction of inflammation and increase of control that we observed in our patients might suggest that targeting the IL-5 in severe eosinophilic asthma with bronchiectasis may be a good therapeutic strategy.

Keywords: severe asthma, bronchiectasis, mepolizumab, phenotype

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