Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 318–330 | Cite as

Anti-interleukin 5 Therapy for Eosinophilic Asthma: a Meta-analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

  • Fa-Ping Wang
  • Xiao-Feng Xiong
  • Ting Liu
  • Su-Yun Li
  • De-Yun Cheng
  • Hui Mao


Recently, more and more clinical trials have been performed to evaluate the effects of anti-interleukin (IL)-5 antibodies in eosinophilic asthma. However, a confirm conclusion has not been well established. We therefore sought to conduct a meta-analysis to assess the overall efficacy and safety of anti-interleukin 5 treatments in eosinophilic asthma. RCTs of anti-interleukin 5 treatments in eosinophilic asthma published up to June 2016 in PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library databases, and CBM, which reported pulmonary functions, quality-of-life scores, asthmatic exacerbations, and adverse events were included. Fixed-effect models were used to calculate mean difference, relative risks (RR), and 95 % CIs. Twelve studies involving 3340 patients were identified. Pooled analysis revealed significant improvements in FEV1 (nine trials, 1935 subjects; MD = 0.12; 95 % CI, 0.08–0.16), and Asthma Quality-of-Life Questionnaire scores (five trials, 1334 subjects; MD = 0.23; 95 % CI, 0.13–0.34). Anti-interleukin 5 treatment was also associated with significantly decreased exacerbation risk than placebo (six trials, 875 subjects; RR = 0.52; 95 % CI, 0.46 to 0.59) and a lower incidence of adverse events (eight trials, 1754 subjects; RR = 0.93; 95 % CI, 0.89 to 0.97). Anti-interleukin 5 treatment is well tolerated and could significantly improve FEV1, quality of life, and reduced exacerbations risk in patients with eosinophilic asthma. Further trials are necessary to assess the baseline blood eosinophil count to identify the optimal patients of eosinophilic asthma that could benefit from anti-interleukin 5 therapy.


Eosinophilic asthma Anti-interleukin 5 Meta-analysis 



We are grateful to the authors of the primary studies included in this meta-analysis. We thank Jiao-Qing Tang for his help and editorial advice during the preparation of the review.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study did not receive any funding.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Author Contributions

Fa-Ping Wang and Xiao-Feng Xiong performed the literature searches, selected the studies, analyzed the data, and wrote the manuscript draft. Ting Liu and Su-Yun Li aided in the data analysis. Hui Mao and De-Yun Cheng designed the study and revised manuscript.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Respiratory Medicine, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Department of Respiratory MedicineFirst Affiliated Hospital of Henan College of Traditional Chinese MedicineZhengzhouChina

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