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In this Spring 2020 issue of the Respiratory Reader, UPMC presents unique allergy and upper airway procedures that are offered. This issue also describes the latest cutting-edge translational and clinical asthma research performed by UPMC’s world-renowned researchers. Additionally, this issue identifies clinical cases that were recently seen by UPMC’s allergy/immunology service. 

  • Dr. Kara Coffey provides a case presentation on the successful treatment of steroid-refractory Hypereosinophilia with Reslizumab.
  • Dr. Laura J. West describes how to approach patients with adverse drugs reactions (ADRs).
  • Dr. Andrej A. Petrov explains vocal cord dysfunction (VCD). 
  • Dr. Merritt L. Fajt and Dr. Andrej A. Petrov present treatment options for allergic Rhinitis and Conjunctivitis (ARC), and also review allergy-immunology research studies.
  • Dr. Sally Wenzel and Dr. Anuradha Ray present four new “Type-2” biologic agents from the treatment of severe asthma. Dr. Wenzel also reviews the latest updates on asthma clinical trials.

Educational Objectives:

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Recognize symptoms of end-organ damage with hypereosinophilia and recall alternative etiologies, and identify first-line therapy for hypereosinophilic syndrome
  • Describe the impact of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC) on patient quality of life and identify available FDA approved treatment options
  • Explain the use of a modified environmental rush immunotherapy (MERIT) protocol to provide more rapid symptom relief for ARC
  • Identify asthma as a complex, heterogeneous disease caused by interactions between immune, airway epithelial and other cell types
  • Recall that vocal cord dysfunction is a frequent mimicker of allergic reactions and asthma
  • Recognize that functional upper airway obstruction is a common cause of dyspnea, and explain how exercise-induced dyspnea can be diagnosed with continuous laryngoscopy and exercise
  • Recognize symptoms consistent with an IgE-mediated drug reaction and identify patients who require referral to an Allergist/Immunologist for drug desensitization, and symptoms consistent with a non-allergic drug hypersensitivity


Dr. West has reported no relevant relationships with entities producing health care goods or services.

Drs. Coffey, Fajt, Petrov, Ray, and Wenzel have financial interests with the following entity or entities producing health care goods or services as indicated below:

  • Dr. Kara Coffey reports receiving a conference travel scholarship from Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. 
  • Dr. Fajt discloses receiving a Breathe PA research grant and American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology for CE Speakers’ Bureau. 
  • Dr. Petrov discloses being a consultant for Genentech, GSK and CSL Behring. 
  • Dr. Ray reports receiving grant/research support from Pieris Pharmaceuticals. 
  • Dr. Wenzel reports receiving grant/research support and being a consultant for AstraZeneca, Sanofi Aventis, GSK and Pieris; she also discloses grant/research support from Novartis. 

All presenters disclosure of relevant financial relationships with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients is listed above.  No other planners, members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Accreditation Statement:

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

The University of Pittsburgh designates enduring material activity for a maximum of 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit[s]™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity.

For your credit transcript, please access our website 4 weeks post-completion at and follow the link to the Credit Transcript page. If you do not provide the last 5 digits of your SSN on the next page you will not be able to access a CME credit transcript. Providing your SSN is voluntary.

Release Date: 2/18/2020 | Last Modified On: 2/18/2020 | Expires: 2/18/2021

This course has been expired.