Background Some patients with severe asthma also have fungal sensitization and are considered to have severe asthma with fungal sensitization. However, there is limited information on the clinical features of SAFS. Objective To investigate the clinical characteristics of severe asthma with fungal sensitization. Methods The present study enrolled 124 patients with severe asthma. We evaluated clinical aspects, such as various serum cytokines, fractional exhaled nitric oxide, pulmonary function, and serum immunoglobulin E (IgE). Fungal sensitization was assessed by determining serum levels of IgE specific to fungal allergens (Aspergillus, Alternaria, Candida, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Trichophyton species and Schizophyllum commune). The protocol was registered at a clinical trial registry (www.umin.ac.jp/ctr/index-j.htm; UMIN 000002980). Results Thirty-six patients (29%) showed sensitization to at least 1 fungal allergen. The most common species were Candida (16%), Aspergillus (11%), and Trichophyton (11%). The rate of early-onset asthma (<16 years of age) was higher in patients with fungal sensitization than in those without fungal sensitization (45% vs 25%; P =.02). Interleukin-33 levels were higher in patients with fungal sensitization than in those without fungal sensitization. Of patients with atopic asthma, Asthma Control Test scores were worse in patients with multiple fungal sensitizations than in patients with a single fungal sensitization or those without fungal sensitization. Conclusion Severe asthma with fungal sensitization is characterized by early onset of disease and high serum levels of interleukin-33. Multiple fungal sensitizations are associated with poor asthma control. Trial Registration UMIN Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR; www.umin.ac.jp/ctr/index-j.htm): UMIN 000002980.
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