Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a novel experimental procedure involving the application of controlled heat from a radiofrequency source to the airway wall as a means to reduce airway smooth muscle in the airway wall. After BT was shown to reduce airway smooth muscle in preclinical studies in dogs, clinical studies in humans revealed that BT resulted in a significant improvement in asthma outcomes including mild asthma exacerbations, asthma symptom–free days, asthma rescue medication use, and airway hyperresponsiveness as measured by methacholine PC20. A second trial in humans revealed that BT was safe and effective in patients with severe asthma refractory to the current standard of care. While current trials are ongoing, BT holds promise as an exciting novel therapy in the management of patients with asthma.
Brigham & Women's Hospital, Partners Asthma Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Publication date: July 1, 2008
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Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.
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