No reliable biological marker for the diagnosis of asthma in younger children is currently available.
A prospective cohort study was conducted in children aged under 5 years who visited our pediatric respiratory clinic and ward for wheezing. After enrollment, the participants provided samples for a CD63-based BAT performed using an inhalant allergen mixture as a stimulant. Histories of personal allergic diseases and family allergic diseases were evaluated by using a questionnaire. All participants were followed up for 2 years, and their asthma outcomes were evaluated at the end of the follow-up period. The correlation between the BAT results and asthma outcomes was analyzed. Of the 45 originally enrolled children, 38 completed both the follow-up and a BAT. After stimulation with the inhalant mixture, the CD63 expression on basophils and the rate of positive CD63-based BAT results in children diagnosed with asthma were both significantly higher than those in children who were not diagnosed with asthma (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively). For the prediction of asthma, the positive predictive value and negative predictive value of CD63-based BAT was 71.8 and 69.2%, respectively. The positive likelihood ratio and negative likelihood ratio of CD63-based BAT were 1.70 and 0.3, respectively.
Our pilot study indicates that CD63-based BAT has potential clinical value for predicting asthma outcome in young children with wheezing episodes.