Patients with severe refractory asthma pose a major healthcare problem. Over the last decade it has become increasingly clear that, for the development of new targeted therapies, there is an urgent need for further characterisation and classification of these patients. The Unbiased Biomarkers for the Prediction of Respiratory Disease Outcomes (U-BIOPRED) consortium is a pan-European public-private collaboration funded by the European Commission Innovative Medicines Initiative of the European Union. U-BIOPRED aims to subphenotype patients with severe refractory asthma by using an innovative systems biology approach. This paper presents the U-BIOPRED international consensus on the definition and diagnosis of severe asthma, aligning the latest concepts in adults as well as in children. The consensus is based on existing recommendations up to 2010 and will be used for the selection of patients for the upcoming U-BIOPRED study. It includes the differentiation between ‘problematic’, ‘difficult’ and ‘severe refractory’ asthma, and provides a systematic algorithmic approach to the evaluation of patients presenting with chronic severe asthma symptoms for use in clinical research and specialised care.
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List of contributors at the U-BIOPRED International Consensus Definition and Diagnosis of Severe Asthma: Bel EH, Bergeron C, Bisgaard H, Bleecker E, Boulet L-P, Bousquet J, Brightling CE, Bush A, Castro M, Chanez P, Chung KF, Compton CH, Cookson W, de Boer WI, Djukanovic R, Fleming L, Gaga M, Hedlin G, Howarth PH, Ivanoff N, Kiley J, Larsson LG, Menzies-Gow A, Meyers DA, Myles D, Nething K, O'Byrne PM, Palkonen S, Polosa R, Purkins L, Rohou S, Serdrevic D, Sousa A, Sterk PJ, Ventresca G, Versnel J, Wagener AK, Wagers SS, Wenzel SE.
Funding This report was supported by grants from the European Commission Innovative Medicine Initiative Understanding Severe Asthma, IMI_Call_2008_1_12; final protocol available at http://www.imi.europa.eu/.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.