Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Severe Asthma Guidelines Recommend FeNO Monitoring

If your patients end up on high dose asthma therapy or have frequent exacerbations, reassessment is needed.  Exhaled nitric oxide testing provides a method for non-invasive point of care assessment for asthma and asthma control and can help direct therapy for severe asthma.  The latest iteration of GINA guidelines acknowledges this. Dr. Susarla

In a significant advancement in the treatment of severe asthma, the latest diagnosis and management guide from the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) makes new recommendations for assessment tools.

The new guide now recommends fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) monitoring as an assessment tool to determine whether patients who are on high-dose inhaled corticosteroids or low-dose oral corticosteroids have residual inflammation.

In a statement accompanying the new guidelines, Dr. Helen Reddel, Chair of the GINA Science Committee and a research leader at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, explained that difficult-to-treat and severe asthma are currently high priority due to their “physical, emotional and financial burden for patients and their families.”

 “Clinicians in both low and high income countries need practical advice about how to assess and treat patients for whom conventional asthma therapies don’t seem to be working, and about how treatment strategies, including biologic therapies if available, can be implemented into patient care,” Reddel said.

Utilizing FeNO measurements can provide a potential predictor of positive responses to anti-immunoglobulin E (anti-IgE) therapy for patients with severe, allergic asthma, and is a tool to identify refractory type 2 inflammation in patients on high-dose inhaled corticosteroids therapy.

“The new GINA guidelines build on an earlier US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) report in terms of the strength of FeNO as a practical tool that improves outcomes for asthma patients,” said David Acheson, Senior Vice President of US Commercial at Circassia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on respiratory disease which announced the new recommendations on December 5.

Read article here.

Monday, December 3, 2018

CPAP or Surveillance Device?

An unfortunate spin on an extremely useful technology that can strengthen doctor/patient relationship and improve sleep apnea outcomes when used properly.  Step off regulators!  Dr. Susarla

Last March, Tony Schmidt discovered something unsettling about the machine that helps him breathe at night. Without his knowledge, it was spying on him.
From his bedside, the device was tracking when he was using it and sending the information not just to his doctor, but to the maker of the machine, to the medical supply company that provided it and to his health insurer.
Schmidt, an information technology specialist from Carrollton, Texas, was shocked. "I had no idea they were sending my information across the wire."
Schmidt, 59, has sleep apnea, a disorder that causes worrisome breaks in his breathing at night. Like millions of people, he relies on a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine that streams warm air into his nose while he sleeps, keeping his airway open. Without it, Schmidt would wake up hundreds of times a night; then, during the day, he'd nod off at work, sometimes while driving and even as he sat on the toilet.
"I couldn't keep a job," he said. "I couldn't stay awake." The CPAP, he said, saved his career, maybe even his life.