Pediatric Asthma Yardstick aids physicians in stepping up treatment
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, or ACAAI, has published the Pediatric Asthma Yardstick, a new guideline describing how and when treatment should be stepped up for children with uncontrolled asthma.
“The Pediatric Asthma Yardstick gives you a roadmap with which to know your options for increasing pharmacological management of asthma at five different step care in three different age ranges,” ACAAI president Bradley Chipps, MD, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “Health care providers can avail themselves of this resource document in order to give patients better care.”
According to the guideline, 10% of children aged between 6 and 19 years have asthma, and a control-based approach is the current treatment recommendation for the management of the disease. However, Chipps and colleagues noted that controlling asthma is not easily achieved in children. Additionally, diagnosing asthma can be challenging, especially in young children, because it relies heavily on symptoms, which can be related to common viral infections. Asthma also does not have an objective test that can easily confirm the condition.
The Pediatric Asthma Yardstick breaks down controller treatments into approaches that will work for specific age groups — adolescents aged 12 to 18 years, school-aged children from 6 to 11 years and infants and young children aged younger than 5 years — because the diagnosis and management of the disease differs depending on the development of the respiratory system.
The authors said the guideline includes an “in-depth assessment” of how and when to step up therapy for children with poorly controlled asthma. Based on current recommendations and patient profiles categorized by severity and age, the guideline further describes how to start and adjust controller therapy.
“The yardstick guidelines are open access, meaning you can download them at no charge from Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology,” Bradley said. “We will update the yardsticks every 6 months, and they will automatically be tagged to the source document.” - by Marley Ghizzone
Disclosures: Chipps reports serving as a consultant and a member of speakers' bureaus for AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Genentech, Novartis, Regenernon, Sanofi and Teva. Please see the guideline for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.