Asthma is a common chronic airway disease affecting approximately 30 million people in the United States. The pathophysiology of asthma involves airway inflammation, intermittent airflow obstruction, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Varying degrees of inflammation result in airway edema, mucus secretion, and smooth muscle hyperplasia that eventually lead to airway remodeling. Medical management of asthma includes the use of symptom-relieving agents and disease-controlling agents. A stepwise approach to asthma management continues to be used in the current guidelines. Recently, a novel intervention, known as bronchial thermoplasty (BT), was introduced as a treatment option for patients with severe persistent asthma. BT is a system that delivers thermal energy to the airway wall during a series of bronchoscopy procedures. Studies have shown that the patients treated with BT experienced fewer severe asthma exacerbations and emergency department visits. This review discusses the utility and the place of BT in the management of asthma.
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, MMC #276 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
The author declares that he has nothing to disclose.
Address correspondence to: H. Erhan Dincer, MD, FCCP, FAASM, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, MMC #276 University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St., SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.