Bronchial thermoplasty for asthma: A critical review of a new therapy

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Abstract:

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.

Keywords: Asthma; bronchial thermoplasty; device; radiofrequency ablation; severe asthma; smooth muscle; thermal energy

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2500/aap.2008.29.3133

Affiliations: Brigham & Women's Hospital, Partners Asthma Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication date: July 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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