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To determine risk factors associated with admission to a PICU with or without endotracheal intubation for an asthma exacerbation. We hypothesized that children with critical and near-fatal asthma would have distinguishing clinical features but varying degrees of asthma severity and measures of type 2 inflammation.Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of children with asthma recruited into outpatient asthma clinical research studies at Emory University between 2004 and 2015.Large, free-standing academic quaternary care children’s hospital in Atlanta, GA.Children 6–18 years old with physician-diagnosed and confirmed asthma.None.A total of 579 children were analyzed with 170 children (29.4%) being admitted to the PICU for an asthma exacerbation in their lifetime. Of these 170 children with a history of critical asthma, 24.1% were classified as having mild-to-moderate asthma, and 83 of 170 children (48.8%) had been intubated and experienced near-fatal asthma. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify risk factors associated with increased odds of PICU admission with or without endotracheal intubation. Hospitalization within the prior 12 months of survey (odds ratio, 8.19; 95% CI, 4.83–13.89), a history of pneumonia (odds ratio, 2.56; 95% CI, 1.52–4.29), having a designation of increased chronic asthma severity on high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (odds ratio, 2.76; 95% CI, 1.62–4.70), having a father with asthma (odds ratio, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.23–3.76), living in a region with a higher burden of poverty (odds ratio, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.02–1.61), and being of black race (odds ratio, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.05–3.84) were all associated with increased odds of PICU admission with or without intubation.Our findings suggest that there are factors associated with critical and near-fatal asthma, distinct from the chronic asthma severity designations, that should be the focus of future investigation.