Affiliation: Imperial College, Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, National Health and Lung Institute, SW7 2AZ, London, UK.
Asthma is a heterogeneous disorder with a variable course. It begins very early in life and of different phenotypes. Mainstay treatment for asthma is corticosteroids as controller therapy and guidelines recommends the add-on and step-up or step-down strategies. This review will focus on the studies that enhanced our understandings of the effects of inhaled corticosteroids on the natural course of asthma in regard to symptoms control, protective effect on lung function and potential side effects encountered during the treatment. Studies that evaluated approaches on steroid sparing effects and the effect of asthma progression in children are also reviewed.