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Medicina interna de México

versión impresa ISSN 0186-4866


HERRERA-GARCIA, JC et al. Severe asthmatic crisis related to viral infection. Med. interna Méx. [online]. 2017, vol.33, n.2, pp.159-167. ISSN 0186-4866.


50% of asthma attacks are triggered by viral in fections; its relationship with clinical parameters has not been described in adults.


To determine the prevalence of asthma attacks according to viral spectrum and its association with clinical features and respiratory mechanics.


A clinical, prospective and observational study with patients with severe asthma attended from December 1st 2010 to December 31st 2011. We excluded patients with suspected bacterial infection. Symptom questionnaire was applied, it was determined by nasal swab viral panel, spirometry and laboratory studies. Informed consent was obtained.


One hundred patients were included. Mean age was 39±14 years, BMI 27±4 kg/m2, Borg 6.2±1.2, mMRC 2.6±0.6, length of symptoms 7±7 days and FEV1 of 42±14%, pulse oximetry 88±3% and stay 4.5±1.7 days; 47% of patients had allergic rhinitis. Virus was isolated in 36% (15% rhinovirus and 6% coronavirus). Comparing the non-viral vs viral etiology, patients were younger (36±13 vs 43±17 years, p=0.014) there was no difference between the degree of obstruction and symptoms. A greater severity of asthma was related to more isolation.


Asthma attacks associated with respiratory viruses have similar clinical behavior to not associated ones. In younger patients with more severe behavior virus are isolated more frequently.

Palabras llave : acute asthma; respiratory viruses; symptoms; isolation.

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