Purpose of review: A control-based asthma assessment is recommended by guidelines, but questions remain about how to assess the level of asthma control, and how current control status relates to future risks and biomarkers of disease pathogenesis. This review summarizes recent published data relating to asthma control and describes the challenges created by currently available instruments.
Recent findings: The current literature continues to show the widespread use of various assessment instruments for asthma control, in particular those with composite scores. However, poor correlations exist between the different assessment tools, and these instruments lack diagnostic accuracy to differentiate uncontrolled asthma. Whereas the concept of asthma control has been extended to add an assessment of future risks to the clinical control, clinical asthma control as measured by current available assessment tools does not necessary relate to the intrinsic disease activity which is typically characterized by inflammation in asthma.
Summary: The application of asthma control assessment represents an improvement in asthma management. The measurement of underlying disease activity potentially by biomarkers to assess disease control will lead to an improved assessment of the overall control of asthma, and further studies addressing this are needed.