Viral infections are known to exacerbate asthma in adults. Previous studies have found few asthmatics among SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia cases. However, the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe asthma exacerbation is not known.
We assessed the frequency of asthma exacerbation in asthmatic patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and compared symptoms laboratory and radiological findings in asthmatic and non-asthmatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.
We included 106 patients between March 4 and April 6, 2020, who were hospitalized in the Chest Diseases Department of Strasbourg University Hospital; 23 were asthmatics. To assess the patients’ asthma status, three periods were defined: the last month before the onset of COVID-19 symptoms (p1), pre-hospitalization (p2) and during hospitalization (p3). Severe asthma exacerbations were defined according to GINA guidelines during p1 and p2. During p3, we defined severe asthma deterioration as the onset of breathlessness and wheezing requiring systemic corticosteroids and inhaled beta-2-agonist.
We found no significant difference between asthmatics and non-asthmatics in terms of severity (length of stay, maximal oxygen flow needed, non-invasive ventilation requirement and ICU transfer). 52.2% of the asthmatic patients were Gina 1. One patient had a severe exacerbation during p1, two patients during p2, and five patients were treated with systemic corticosteroids and inhaled beta-2-agonist during p3.
Our results demonstrate that asthmatic patients appeared not to be at risk for severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia did not induce severe asthma exacerbation.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.