Efficacy of omalizumab in asthmatic patients with IgE levels above 700 IU/mL: a retrospective study

Diego Jose Maselli, Harjinder Singh, Joseph Diaz, Jay I Peters
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2013, 110 (6): 457-61

BACKGROUND: Omalizumab is approved for patients with poorly controlled asthma with serum IgE levels between 30 and 700 IU/mL and positive test results for perennial allergens. Its efficacy in patients with IgE levels greater than 700 IU/mL is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the response of asthmatic patients treated with omalizumab with IgE levels greater than 700 IU/mL.

METHODS: Asthmatic patients treated with omalizumab for 6 months or longer with elevated IgE levels were evaluated retrospectively. Emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, change in forced expiratory volume in 1 second, corticosteroid bursts, and Asthma Control Test (ACT) scores were recorded for a period of 6 months before and after treatment.

RESULTS: Twenty-six patients with an IgE level greater than 700 IU/mL (group 1) were matched by age, sex, and severity of asthma to patients with an IgE of 30 to 700 IU/mL (group 2). The mean numbers of ED visits before and after treatment were 0.96 vs 0.23 (P = .008) in group 1 and 0.65 vs 015 (P = .02) in group 2. Both group 1 and group 2 had an improvement in asthma control based on the mean ACT score before and after treatment (15.6 vs 18.9 [P = .02] and 15.4 vs 19 [P = .006], respectively). There was also a significant reduction in the frequency of systemic corticosteroid use during the 6 months before and after treatment (2.58 vs 0.96 [P < .001] and 2.62 vs 1.23 [P < .001] systemic steroid treatments, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Omalizumab was as effective in reducing ED visits, controlling asthma symptoms, and reducing the need for systemic corticosteroids in patients with IgE levels greater than 700 IU/mL compared with patients with levels of 30 to 700 IU/mL.

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