Table 5

Summary of findings for the main comparisons: sputum eosinophilia-based studies

Tailored interventions based on sputum eosinophils compared with tailored interventions based on clinical symptoms for asthma in adults and children
Patient or population: adults and children with asthma
Settings: hospital outpatients
Intervention: based on sputum eosinophil count
Comparison: based on clinical symptoms
OutcomesIllustrative comparative risks* (95% CI)Relative effect
(95% CI)
Number of participants
Quality of the evidence
Assumed risk at 1 yearCorresponding risk
Tailored interventions based on clinical symptomsTailored interventions based on sputum eosinophils
No of participants who had one or more exacerbations over the study period
Follow-up: 12 to 24 months
82 per 10062 per 100
(49 to 74)
OR 0.36
(0.21 to 0.62)
(3 studies)
⊕⊕⊕⊝ Moderate1
Follow-up: 12 to 24 months
24 per 1008 per 100
(3 to 21)
OR 0.28
(0.09 to 0.84)
(4 studies)
⊕⊕⊕⊝ Moderate2
Mean dose of inhaled corticosteroids per person per day (budesonide equivalent µg/day)
Follow-up: 12 to 24 months
The mean dose of inhaled corticosteroids per person per day in the intervention groups was
13 µg/day higher
(128 lower to 153 higher)
(4 studies)
⊕⊕⊝⊝ Low3
  • *The basis for the assumed risk is the mean of the two studies with a duration of 1 year. The corresponding risk (and its 95% CI) is based on the assumed risk in the comparison group and the relative effect of the intervention (and its 95% CI).