Skip to main content

Asthma: Critical Debates

Sebastian L. Johnston (Editor), Stephen T. Holgate (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-69388-9 March 2008 Wiley-Blackwell 408 Pages


Asthma is one of the most important diseases affecting our society. It is an extremely common condition that reduces quality of life, and acute exacerbations can be life-threatening. It affects a disproportionate number of children. With the overwhelming volume of research being carried out in this field specialists need a method of keeping up-to-date with current opinion.

As with the other 'Challenges' books, 'Challenges in Asthma' is aimed at hospital specialists and therefore assumes a certain level of knowledge about the disease. It builds on this by discussing only areas of controversy and uncertainty in both the basic understanding of asthma and its management. An international author list will provide stimulating debate with, and ultimately draw some conclusions from, existing data which will benefit readers in their day-to-day practice.

List of contributors.



PART 1: Epidemiology.

1. Why is the incidence of asthma increasing (P.M. Matricardi and S. Bonini).

2. Why is asthma more common in the West (E. Von Mutius).

3. How much asthma can be attributed to atopic sensitization (R. Beasley, J. Douwes, J. Pekkanen and N.E. Pearce).

4. Is air pollution important in asthma (A.J. Chauhan).

PART 2: Pathophysiology.

5. Is infection important in the pathogenesis and clinical expression of asthma (E.R. Sutherland and R.J. Martin).

6. Does infection in early life protect against or cause asthma (B. Bjorksten).

7. Does asthma progress to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (S.T. Weiss).

8. Antenatal factors in the development of atopy and asthma (P.G. Woodruff, S.L. Prescott, P.G. Holt and J.V. Fahy).

9. Genetics of asthma: What’s new (I. Sayers, B. Beghe, J. Holloway and S.T. Holgate).

PART 3: Treatment.

10. Can airway fibrosis be prevented (D. Smallwood and J. Wilson).

11. Does allergen avoidance help? What are the practical measures that patients can take (A. Custovic and A. Woodcock).

12. Is early treatment of children necessary (P.J. Helms).

13. What are the mechanisms of corticosteroid resistance in asthma (P.J. Barnes).

14. What new therapies are being developed for asthma and will they offer something better than steroids (J.C. Kips, K.G. Tournoy and R.A. Pauwels).

15. What is the orel of long-acting ß2 -agonists in the treatment of asthma (M.R. Sears).

16. What is the role of leukotriene modifiers in the treatment of asthma (M.E. Wechsler and J.M. Drazen).

PART 4: Delivery of Care.

17. What are the issues in delivering care in primary care (D. Price).

18. Are asthma clinics useful: should they be run by the doctors or the nurse (B.D.W. Harrison and S.M. Mildenhall).

19. Should asthma be managed by the patient or the doctor: is education important (M.R. Partridge).

20. Are psychosocial factors important in asthma (B.D.W. Harrison and S.M. Mildenhall).


There is always the potential for periodic short, succinct, up to date summaries of how advances in asthma basic science can be appied to clinical management. This boook is obviously designed to beof this genre. I think it may succeed in this regard if the chapters a brief, authoritative and to the point.
Dr C J Corrigan, Imperial College, London

An absolutely top of the bill list of authors - some young, some established, but all highly competent.... I have no doubts at all that such a distinguished list of authors will produce a text of the highest standard which the enthusiast will be delighted to read.
Dr Martyn Partridge, Whipps Cross Hospital

* contains a detailed section on pathophysiology exploring possible external causes such as air pollution, infection and prenatal factors
* provides a focus on new and emerging therapies
* includes a topical section devoted to delivery of care