Angelica Titiu, et al.
Received 21 Oct 2020, Accepted 17 Jan 2021, Accepted author version posted online: 25 Jan 2021, Published online: 05 Mar 2021
The large amount of evidence and the renewed interest in upper and lower airways involvement in infectious and inflammatory diseases has led Interasma (Global Asthma Association) to take a position on United Airways Diseases (UAD). Starting from an extensive literature review, Interasma executive committee discussed and approved this Manifesto developed by Interasma scientific network (INES) members.
The manifesto describes the evidence gathered to date and defines, states, advocates, and proposes issues on UAD (rhinitis, rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis), and concomitant/comorbid lower airways disorders (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, obstructive sleep apnoea) with the aim of challenging assumptions, fostering commitment, and bringing about change. UAD refers to clinical pictures characterized by the coexistence of upper and lower airways involvement, driven by a common pathophysiological mechanism, leading to a greater burden on patient’s health status and requiring an integrated diagnostic and therapeutic plan. The high prevalence of UAD must be taken into account. Upper and lower airways diseases influence disease control and patient’s quality of life.
The Manifesto concludes that patients with UAD need to have a timely and adequate diagnosis, treatment, and, when recommended, referral for management in a specialized center. Diagnostic testing including skin prick or serum specific IgE, lung function, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), polysomnography, allergen-specific immunotherapies, biological therapies and home based continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) whenever these are recommended, should be part of the management plan for UAD. Education of medical students, physicians, health professionals, patients and caregivers on the UAD is needed.