Determination of the cutoff values of Th2 markers for the prediction of future exacerbation in severe asthma: An analysis from the Hokkaido Severe Asthma Cohort Study

The Hi-CARAT investigators

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8 Scopus citations


Background: We recently reported that severe asthma patients with frequent exacerbations showed high blood eosinophil counts (Eo) and fractions of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) compared with non-exacerbators. However, we did not determine exact cutoff values related to exacerbation. The aim of this study was to determine the cutoff values of Eo and FeNO that could be related to the exacerbation of severe asthma. We also aimed to confirm the clinical utility of Th2 markers related to exacerbation. Methods: This study included 105 severe asthma patients who completed a three-year follow-up of a severe asthma cohort study, including smokers. Three Th2 markers were selected, viz., Eo, FeNO, and positive atopic status. Regarding Eo and FeNO, we determined the cutoff values for the definition of “positive” Th2 features using receiver operating characteristic curve analyses, based on the comparisons between frequent exacerbators and other patients. Results: The cutoff values for positive Th2 features were Eo ≥ 250 cells/μL and FeNO ≥31 ppb. Sixteen patients (15.2%) had no Th2 features, 40 (38.1%) had one, 25 (23.8%) had two, and 24 (22.9%) had three. A high number of positive Th2 features was significantly associated with exacerbation frequencies over three years (p < 0.05). Similarly, compared to patients with one or no Th2 features, those with three Th2 features had a significantly higher probability of having more than one exacerbation (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The cutoff values determined in the current analysis were good predictors of future exacerbations in severe asthma patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalAllergology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Biomarkers
  • Cutoff value
  • Exacerbation
  • Th2 features

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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