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The contribution of viral presence to severe exacerbation of asthma

Purpose of the study was to evaluate the contribution of viral presence as a possible trigger of the severe asthma. Allergens, physical effort, cold-air, gastroesophageal reflux and other possible triggers were not taken into consideration in this study.

84 patients with severe asthma hospitalized at the Clinic of Pulmology during the winter period of 1996, were clinically assessed by random choice. We have examined blood samples for viral serology the first day of their hospitalization and after two weeks. The following results were obtained expressed in percentage. In 31 (36.9%) patients we found positive isolates for viral presence: Influenzae A in 12 patients (38.7%), Parainfluenzae in 6 patients (19.3%) RSV in 5 patients (16.1%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae in 3 (9.6%) and RV in 5 (16.1%). Positive viral presence after 2 weeks showed 6.4 % (2 patients).

Although this is a small group of patients to be taken for definitive conclusions about the viral infection as a major trigger for exacerbation of severe asthma, their presence especially in winter period plays an important role in worsening of the disease.

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Stefanovski, T., Arsovski, Z. & Balaban, G. The contribution of viral presence to severe exacerbation of asthma. Crit Care 2 (Suppl 1), P104 (1998).

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