Asthma phenotypes and endotypes: A personalized approach to treatment

Gwen S. Skloot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Asthma is quite common and is better described as a syndrome with a heterogeneous presentation than as a single disease. Although most individuals can be effectively managed using a guideline-directed approach to care, those with the most severe illness may benefit from a more targeted therapy. The review describes our current understanding of how asthma phenotypes (observable characteristics) and endotypes (specific biologic mechanisms) can be employed to gain insight into asthma pathobiology and personalized therapy. Recent findings Our understanding of the heterogeneity of asthma is increasing. The concept of asthma phenotype has become more complex, incorporating both clinical and biologic features. Several asthma endotypes (e.g., allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis, aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease, severe late-onset hypereosinophilic asthma, etc.) have been proposed, but further research is needed to delineate specific mechanisms underlying asthma pathogenesis. Several biologic therapies targeting certain phenotypes are in development and are expected to broaden our armamentarium for treatment of severe asthma. Summary Asthma is a heterogeneous condition with diverse characteristics and biologic mechanisms. Severe asthma is associated with significant morbidity and even mortality and represents a major unmet need. Stratification of asthma subtypes into phenotypes and endotypes should move the field forward in terms of more effective and personalized treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Biomarkers
  • Endotypes
  • Personalized medicine
  • Phenotypes


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