Identification and characterization of near-fatal asthma phenotypes by cluster analysis

J. Serrano-Pariente, G. Rodrigo, J. A. Fiz, A. Crespo, V. Plaza

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26 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 John Wiley and Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Background Near-fatal asthma (NFA) is a heterogeneous clinical entity and several profiles of patients have been described according to different clinical, pathophysiological and histological features. However, there are no previous studies that identify in a unbiased way - using statistical methods such as clusters analysis - different phenotypes of NFA. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify and to characterize phenotypes of near fatal asthma using a cluster analysis. Methods Over a period of 2 years, 33 Spanish hospitals enrolled 179 asthmatics admitted for an episode of NFA. A cluster analysis using two-steps algorithm was performed from data of 84 of these cases. Results The analysis defined three clusters of patients with NFA: cluster 1, the largest, including older patients with clinical and therapeutic criteria of severe asthma; cluster 2, with an high proportion of respiratory arrest (68%), impaired conciousness level (82%) and mechanical ventilation (93%); and cluster 3, which included younger patients, characterized by an insufficient anti-inflammatory treatment and frequent sensitization to Alternaria alternata and soybean. Conclusions These results identify specific asthma phenotypes involved in NFA, confirming in part previous findings observed in studies with a clinical approach. The identification of patients with a specific NFA phenotype could suggest interventions to prevent future severe asthma exacerbations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1147
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • asthma
  • cluster analysis
  • mechanical ventilation
  • near-fatal asthma
  • phenotypes


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