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The aim of this review was to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) measured in a clinical setting for the management of asthma in adults.13 electronic databases were searched and studies were selected against predefined inclusion criteria. Quality assessment was conducted using QUADAS-2. Class effect meta-analyses were performed.Six studies were included. Despite high levels of heterogeneity in multiple study characteristics, exploratory class effect meta-analyses were conducted. Four studies reported a wider definition of exacerbation rates (major or severe exacerbation) with a pooled rate ratio of 0.80 (95% CI 0.63-1.02). Two studies reported rates of severe exacerbations (requiring oral corticosteroid use) with a pooled rate ratio of 0.89 (95% CI 0.43-1.72). Inhaled corticosteroid use was reported by four studies, with a pooled standardised mean difference of -0.24 (95% CI -0.56-0.07). No statistically significant differences for health-related quality of life or asthma control were found.FeNO guided management showed no statistically significant benefit in terms of severe exacerbations or inhaled corticosteroid use, but showed a statistically significant reduction in exacerbations of any severity. However, further research is warranted to clearly define which management protocols (including cut-off points) offer best efficacy and which patient groups would benefit the most.

Original publication





Eur Respir J

Publication Date





751 - 768


Adrenal Cortex Hormones, Adult, Anti-Asthmatic Agents, Asthma, Biomarkers, Breath Tests, Disease Management, Disease Progression, Exhalation, Humans, Nitric Oxide, Quality of Life, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic