Pearls of Wisdom: Immunotherapy For Antigen-Stimulated Asthma


  • A 23-year-old man experiences dramatic exacerbations of his asthma, with increased frequency and severity of symptoms, each year during pollen season. He currently requires pharmacotherapy with inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting β2-adrenergic agonists, anticholinergics, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and rescue inhalers to maintain even a modest degree of asthma control.

    What role might immunotherapy play in this patient’s treatment?

    A. None. Immunotherapy is not FDA-approved for the treatment of asthma.

    B. None. Because of the severity of his asthma, immunotherapy is unlikely to be effective.

    C. Immunotherapy may improve his asthma symptoms and reduce his medication burden.

    D. Immunotherapy may improve his asthma symptoms but is not likely to reduce his medication burden.

    What is the correct answer?

    (Answer and discussion on next page)

    Louis Kuritzky, MD, has been involved in medical education since the 1970s. Drawing upon years of clinical experience, he has crafted each year for almost 3 decades a collection of items that are often underappreciated by clinicians, yet important for patients. These “Pearls of Wisdom” often highlight studies that may not have gotten traction within the clinical community and/or may have been overlooked since their time of publishing, but warrant a second look.