Asthma outcomes: Biomarkers

Stanley J. Szefler, Sally Wenzel, Robert Brown, Serpil C. Erzurum, John V. Fahy, Robert G. Hamilton, John F. Hunt, Hirohito Kita, Andrew H. Liu, Reynold A. Panettieri, Robert P. Schleimer, Michael Minnicozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

271 Scopus citations


Background: Measurement of biomarkers has been incorporated within clinical research studies of asthma to characterize the population and associate the disease with environmental and therapeutic effects. Objective: National Institutes of Health institutes and federal agencies convened an expert group to propose which biomarkers should be assessed as standardized asthma outcomes in future clinical research studies. Methods: We conducted a comprehensive search of the literature to identify studies that developed and/or tested asthma biomarkers. We identified biomarkers relevant to the underlying disease process progression and response to treatment. We classified the biomarkers as either core (required in future studies), supplemental (used according to study aims and standardized), or emerging (requiring validation and standardization). This work was discussed at an National Institutes of Health-organized workshop convened in March 2010 and finalized in September 2011. Results: Ten measures were identified; only 1, multiallergen screening to define atopy, is recommended as a core asthma outcome. Complete blood counts to measure total eosinophils, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (Feno), sputum eosinophils, urinary leukotrienes, and total and allergen-specific IgE are recommended as supplemental measures. Measurement of sputum polymorphonuclear leukocytes and other analytes, cortisol measures, airway imaging, breath markers, and system-wide studies (eg, genomics, proteomics) are considered as emerging outcome measures. Conclusion: The working group participants propose the use of multiallergen screening in all asthma clinical trials to characterize study populations with respect to atopic status. Blood, sputum, and urine specimens should be stored in biobanks, and standard procedures should be developed to harmonize sample collection for clinical trial biorepositories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S9-S23
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • IgE
  • Multiallergen screen
  • fractional exhaled nitric oxide
  • sputum eosinophils
  • total eosinophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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