Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of
the airways, which causes attacks of
wheezing, shortness of breath, chest
tightness, and coughing.
HEATING UP THE MUSCLES AROUND
Heating up the muscles around the
windpipe to reduce asthma attacks.
The idea is to reduce the amount of
muscle tissue that is contracting and
squeezing the airways, making it
difficult for asthmatics to breathe.
In May 2010 Asthmatx, Inc. reported
that doctors at Virginia Hospital Center
in Arlington, Va., treated the first U.S.
patient with bronchial thermoplasty
(BT) delivered by the Alair System, the
first device-based asthma treatment
approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
The novel outpatient procedure
delivers controlled thermal energy to
reduce excess airway smooth muscle
that is associated with airway
constriction in patients with asthma. By
decreasing the ability of the airways to
constrict, this new treatment has been
shown to help patients with severe
asthma gain substantially better
control over their disease.
The recent FDA approval of the Alair
System was largely based on the
positive results of the AIR2 Trial, a
sham-controlled study. Not only did the
trial demonstrate that patients treated
with the Alair System experienced
improvement in their asthma quality of
life after one year over patients who
received a sham treatment, but these
patients also experienced a reduction
in asthma attacks, emergency room
visits and hospitalizations for
respiratory symptoms and days lost
from work/school or other daily
activities due to asthma.