Metabolic phenotypes in asthmatic adults: Relationship with inflammatory and clinical phenotypes and prognostic implications

Adalberto Santos, Helena Pité, Cláudia Chaves-Loureiro, Sílvia M. Rocha, Luís Taborda-Barata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease that affects individuals of all ages. It has a high prevalence and is associated with high morbidity and considerable levels of mortality. However, asthma is not a single disease, and multiple subtypes or phenotypes (clinical, inflammatory or combinations thereof) can be detected, namely in aggregated clusters. Most studies have characterised asthma phenotypes and clusters of phenotypes using mainly clinical and inflammatory parameters. These studies are important because they may have clinical and prognostic implications and may also help to tailor personalised treatment approaches. In addition, various metabolomics studies have helped to further define the metabolic features of asthma, using electronic noses or targeted and untargeted approaches. Besides discriminating between asthma and a healthy state, metabolomics can detect the metabolic signatures associated with some asthma subtypes, namely eosinophilic and non-eosinophilic phenotypes or the obese asthma phenotype, and this may prove very useful in point-of-care application. Furthermore, metabolomics also discriminates between asthma and other “phenotypes” of chronic obstructive airway diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or Asthma–COPD Overlap (ACO). However, there are still various aspects that need to be more thoroughly investigated in the context of asthma phenotypes in adequately designed, homogeneous, multicentre studies, using adequate tools and integrating metabolomics into a multiple-level approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number534
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Asthma
  • Endotypes
  • Metabolomics
  • Phenotypes


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