[Degree of skin hypersensitivity as possible indicator of severity of asthma in the atopic subject].


AIMS Many factors have been involved in the determination of bronchial asthma severity, among which are: Family history, atopic condition and environmental factors. OBJECTIVE To evaluate if the degree of skin test reactivity is an useful indicator of bronchial asthma severity in atopic subjects. MATERIAL AND METHODS In a prospective design, 140 patients with allergic bronchial asthma were included. The degree of skin reactivity was measured by intradermal reaction to 54 common allergens, it was classified in four groups according to the positive test percentage. The patients were followed during one year, and the frequency of symptoms and exacerbations, tolerance to exercise, nocturnal asthma, frequency and type of required medication were registered. The pulmonary function was evaluated by espirometry and plethysmography every 6 months. Asthma severity was classified according to the GINA criteria (Global Initiative for Asthma) and drugs requirements. The results were analyzed with descriptive statistics and Spearman correlation, stratification by age groups was carried out. RESULTS Mean age was 25.57 +/- 12.12 years, 59% were female patients. Intermittent asthma was present in 42% of the subjects, mild persistent asthma in 31%, moderate persistent asthma in 18% and severe persistent asthma in 9%. The degree of skin test reactivity was < 25% in 26 patients, 25-50% in 60 patients, 51-75% in 36 and > 75% in 15. There was not correlation between skin test reactivity and asthma severity in the total population. In the stratified analysis there was significant correlation in the group of 5-15 years (p < 0.05) but with a low predictable value. CONCLUSIONS The skin test reactivity degree was not an useful indicator of the asthma severity in this study.


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