The goals of this study were to characterize the heterogeneity of near-fatal asthma (NFA) and to synthesize the various characteristics observed in this subtype of asthma. Clinical, physiological, and histological research have revealed a plethora of NFA-related triggers, pathogenic processes, and risk factors. Several clinical profiles of asthma patients with NFA have been established based on demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients, the circumstances surrounding the asthma exacerbation, and certain specific aspects of the illness. Recent research has shown new links between certain gene expression patterns and deadly asthma, as well as molecular markers associated with inflammatory or immunologic processes in the airways.

NFA is a diverse clinical entity in which different clinical characteristics of individuals may coexist. Knowledge of these characteristics, as well as appropriate and specialized care techniques, can minimize morbidity and death in NFA patients.