School of Paediatrics and Child Health

Perth childhood acute asthma study (PCAAS)

Further information


Asthma attacks are the leading cause of Australian children being admitted to hospital. 


This study involves investigating the mechanisms involved in acute asthma attacks in children with a focus on using genetic variations to dissect mechanistic pathways. 


We have recruited 220 children who have come to the Princess Margaret Hospital Emergency Department with an asthma attack. We intend to recruit over 200 more. The children are followed up on recovery from the attack. 

Children with acute asthma are assessed for:

  • viral infection
  • immunology
  • genetics
  • physiology
  • clinical status.


This project has generated some novel and exciting results that are helping us to better understand this complex disease. 

Examples of these results include:

  • associations between particular genetic variants and reduced levels of their encoded proteins during the acute attack compared to convalescence
  • lower levels of house dust mite-specific IgG antibodies in the acute asthmatic children compared to stable asthmatics
  • controls and interactions between parental cigarette smoke exposure and specific genes resulting in more severe asthma symptoms in children

School of Paediatrics and Child Health

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Last updated:
Thursday, 14 March, 2013 9:26 AM