New therapies are needed for patients with severe persistent asthma who cannot achieve control with current therapy of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting β2-agonists. Bronchial thermoplasty is a novel intervention for asthma that delivers controlled thermal energy to the airway wall during a series of bronchoscopies, resulting in a prolonged reduction in airway smooth muscle mass. We review the method of performing bronchial thermoplasty with the Alair System, how to appropriately select and manage patients undergoing bronchial thermoplasty, and the clinical experience to date with this treatment. Randomized, controlled clinical trials with bronchial thermoplasty in subjects with severe asthma have resulted in improvements in overall asthma control as demonstrated by significant improvement in quality of life, asthma symptoms, severe exacerbations requiring corticosteroids, days lost from work/school/other daily activities due to asthma, and healthcare utilization.
- Alair® Bronchial Thermoplasty System
- airway smooth muscle
- bronchoscopic procedure