New Heat treatment of Asthma
An international study has shown that a new heat treatment called bronchial thermoplasty may help those with moderate to severe asthma manage their disease for 12 months.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), was conducted in 11 hospitals in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada and Denmark.
Bronchial thermoplasty uses radio waves to burn the excess of smooth muscle in the airways of asthma patients and help them breathe easier.
According to Dr. John D. Miller, coauthor of the study and associate professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada), this study is the first treatment consisting of drugs not been tested recently and has shown an amazing response.
To manage the bronchial thermoplasty, patients receive a mild anesthetic first, then a tube is inserted into your nose or mouth, so that the cables that emit radio waves from reaching the airway tissue. Radio waves create heat in the muscle subjected to processing and char.
Excess smooth muscle causes problems because they contract, close the airways.
In this study, 66 patients with moderate to severe asthma treated with bronchial thermoplasty three-hour sessions over a period of nine weeks. Another 66 patients did not receive thermoplasty and continued their usual medication.
After one year, patients breathed thermoplasty 39 liters of air per minute, compared with patients taking only common drugs, which air flow was only 8.5 liters per minute.
Patients were treated with thermoplasty showed, in addition, an average of 40 days without symptoms, whereas patients taking the drugs were only 17, and also the thermoplasty experienced fewer symptoms and used drugs less often than the group was not treated with thermoplasty.
Currently, there is an ongoing controlled large trial also includes a “placebo” group, this study could contribute eventually to the approval of the bronchial thermoplasty by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations.