Korean J Pediatr.  2019 Sep;62(9):325-333. 10.3345/kjp.2018.07395.

Phenotypes of allergic diseases in children and their application in clinical situations

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Chonnam National University Hospital, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Childhood Asthma Atopy Center, Environmental Health Center, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sjhong@amc.seoul.kr


Allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis, are common heterogeneous diseases that encompass diverse phenotypes and different pathogeneses. Phenotype studies of allergic diseases can facilitate the identification of risk factors and their underlying pathophysiology, resulting in the application of more effective treatment, selection of better treatment responses, and prediction of prognosis for each phenotype. In the early phase of phenotype studies in allergic diseases, artificial classifications were usually performed based on clinical features, such as triggering factors or the presence of atopy, which can result in the biased classification of phenotypes and limit the characterization of heterogeneous allergic diseases. Subsequent phenotype studies have suggested more diverse phenotypes for each allergic disease using relatively unbiased statistical methods, such as cluster analysis or latent class analysis. The classifications of phenotypes in allergic diseases may overlap or be unstable over time due to their complex interactions with genetic and encountered environmental factors during the illness, which may affect the disease course and pathophysiology. In this review, diverse phenotype classifications of allergic diseases, including atopic dermatitis, asthma, and wheezing in children, allergic rhinitis, and atopy, are described. The review also discusses the applications of the results obtained from phenotype studies performed in other countries to Korean children. Consideration of changes in the characteristics of each phenotype over time in an individual's lifespan is needed in future studies.


Allergic diseases; Child; Phenotype; Sensitization

MeSH Terms

Bias (Epidemiology)
Dermatitis, Atopic
Respiratory Sounds
Rhinitis, Allergic
Risk Factors
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