Phenotypes favoring fractional exhaled nitric oxide discordance vs guideline-based uncontrolled asthma

Tricia Morphew*, Hye Won Shin, Sara Marchese, Naomi Pires-Barracosa, Stanley P. Galant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Despite potential value of identification of allergic inflammation with fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in managing asthma, randomized clinical trials have not consistently shown better outcomes compared with guideline management alone. Objective: To assess the effectiveness of FeNO vs non–FeNO-based therapeutic algorithms in managing asthma, and the phenotypic profile associated with FeNO >35 ppb yet well controlled by guidelines, as a potential model to predict better FeNO-based algorithm outcomes. Methods: This is a randomized controlled study (RCT) in 88 high-risk children with asthma 7 to 18 years of age across 352 visits over a 1-year period. Generalized estimating equations analysis assessed algorithm group differences in outcomes and characteristics associated with higher odds uncontrolled by FeNO alone in the treatment decision algorithm. Results: The FeNO treatment algorithm did not show superiority in reducing exacerbations and morbidity (P >.05). Phenotypes that more than doubled the odds FeNO alone identified uncontrolled asthma included adolescence, non-adherence, high atopy (>6+), and baseline FeNO >35 ppb, whereas obesity, FEF25-75% < 65% predicted, and bronchodilator response >10% decreased the odds. Uncontrolled asthma by FeNO alone (F) vs guidelines alone (G) showed overall F/G > 1.0 in adolescents, but <1.0 in younger patients unless the FeNO threshold was reduced to >20 ppb. Conclusion: Our study suggests that age and phenotypes play a key role in FeNO discordance compared with the conventional guideline-based uncontrolled asthma. The FeNO-based therapeutic algorithm, if confirmed further, could provide the clinician with an effective asthma management tool. The clinical implication could improve future FeNO-based RCTs and treatment decision algorithms in managing asthma by considering phenotypes and age-dependent FeNO thresholds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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