© 2017 by the authors. Omalizumab is marketed for chronic severe asthma patients who are allergic to perennial allergens. Our purpose was to investigate whether omalizumab is also effective in persistent severe asthma due to seasonal allergens. Thirty patients with oral corticosteroid-dependent asthma were treated with Omalizumab according to the dosing table. For each patient with asthma due to seasonal allergens, we recruited the next two consecutive patients with asthma due to perennial allergens. The dose of oral methyl prednisolone was tapered at a rate of 2 mg every two weeks after the start of treatment with omalizumab depending on tolerance. At each monthly visit, a forced spirometry and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) measurement were performed and the accumulated monthly methyl prednisolone dose was calculated. At entry, there were no differences between groups in terms of gender, body mass index or obesity, year exacerbation rate, monthly dose of methyl-prednisolone (MP), FeNO and blood immunoglobuline E (IgE) MP, FeNO and IgE values, or spirometry (perennial: FVC: 76%; FEV1: 62%; seasonal: FVC: 79%; FEV1: 70%). The follow-up lasted 76 weeks. One patient in each group was considered a non-responder. Spirometry did not worsen in either group. There was a significant intragroup reduction in annual exacerbation rate and methyl prednisolone consumption but no differences were detected in the intergroup comparison. Omalizumab offered the same clinical benefits in the two cohorts regardless of whether the asthma was caused by a seasonal or a perennial allergen. These results strongly suggest that allergens are the trigger in chronic asthma but that it is the persistent exposure to IgE that causes the chronicity.
- Severe allergic asthma