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Feature Article

Managing asthma in pregnancy

Vanessa E. Murphy, Megan E. Jensen, Peter G. Gibson

Figures

© image point fr/shutterstock model used for illustrative purposes only
© image point fr/shutterstock model used for illustrative purposes only

Abstract

Asthma occurs commonly in pregnancy, and exacerbations are associated with adverse outcomes for the mother and baby. Recent advances in management strategies include the measurement of airway inflammation to guide inhaled corticosteroid treatment.

Key Points

  • Asthma is a highly prevalent medical condition in pregnancy, and exacerbations occur frequently.
  • Maternal asthma is associated with an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes.
  • Active asthma management in pregnancy reduces the risk of some adverse outcomes, including preterm birth.
  • Pregnant women with asthma should be treated similarly to other adults with the condition.
  • Using the fractional exhaled nitric oxide level to guide treatment is the only intervention shown to reduce exacerbations of asthma in pregnancy, and it may have additional benefits for the baby.

Figures

© image point fr/shutterstock model used for illustrative purposes only
© image point fr/shutterstock model used for illustrative purposes only