Allergen immunotherapy for allergic asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sangeeta Dhami, Artemisia Kakourou, Felix Asamoah, Ioana Agache, Susanne Lau, Jutel Marek, Antonella Muraro, Graham Roberts, Cezmi A Akdis, Matteo Bonini, Ozlem Cavkaytar, Breda Flood, Pawel Gajdanowicz, Kenji Izuhara, Ömer Kalayci, Ralph Mosges, Oscar Palomares, Oliver Pfaar, Sylwia Smolinska, Milena SokolowskaMiqdad Asaria, Gopal Netuveli, Hader Zaman, Ather Akhlaq, Aziz Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: To inform the development of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunonology's (EAACI) Guidelines on Allergen Immunotherapy (AIT) for allergic asthma, we assessed the evidence on the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety of AIT.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review, which involved searching nine databases. Studies were screened against pre-defined eligibility criteria and critically appraised using established instruments. Data were synthesized using random-effects meta-analyses.

RESULTS: 98 studies satisfied the inclusion criteria. Short-term symptom scores were reduced with a standardized mean difference (SMD) of -1.11 (95%CI -1.66, -0.56). This was robust to a pre-specified sensitivity analyses, but there was evidence suggestive of publication bias. Short-term medication scores were reduced SMD -1.21 (95%CI -1.87, -0.54), again with evidence of potential publication bias. There was no reduction in short-term combined medication and symptom scores SMD 0.17 (95%CI -0.23, 0.58), but one study showed a beneficial long-term effect. For secondary outcomes subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) improved quality of life and decreased allergen specific airways hyperreactivity (AHR) but this was not the case for sub-lingual immunotherapy (SLIT). There were no consistent effects on asthma control, exacerbations, lung function, and non-specific AHR. AIT resulted in a modest increased risk of adverse events (AEs). Although relatively uncommon, systemic AEs were more frequent with SCIT; however no fatalities were reported. The limited evidence on cost-effectiveness was mainly available for sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) and this suggested that SLIT is likely to be cost-effective.

CONCLUSIONS: AIT can achieve substantial reductions in short-term symptom and medication scores in allergic asthma. It was however associated with a modest increased risk of systemic and local AEs. More data are needed in relation to secondary outcomes, longer-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAllergy
Early online date19 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article
  • Review

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