According to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, use of the Boston Scientific Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) system provides benefits to asthma patients that last years, rather than hours.
Bronchial Thermoplasty, delivered by the Alair System is a safe outpatient procedure that delivers thermal energy to the airway wall in a precisely controlled manner to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle. The system is designed to decrease the ability of the airway to constrict, thereby reducing frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
Unlike other therapies currently available for severe asthma that have a short-term effect, a single BT treatment comprising three procedures provides long-term benefit. An Asthma Intervention Research 2 (AIR2) clinical trial examined the safety and effectiveness of the Alair BT system. For the study, researchers observed BT-treated patients with severe asthma for five years, monitoring asthma symptoms after administered the Alair BT system. Key findings from the five-year study include:
- Reduction in the percentage of BT-treated patients experiencing severe exacerbations (compared to patients treated with a sham control)
- 48% average decrease observed in the rate of severe exacerbations in BT-treated patients compared to the year prior to receiving BT
- 88% average decrease observed in the rate of emergency room (ER) visits for respiratory symptoms in BT-treated patients compared to the year prior to receiving BT
- HRCT images before BT and at five years post BT-treatment showed no structural changes in the airways due to BT that were of clinical significance
“Despite great advances over the past few decades in asthma medications, many patients with severe asthma still can’t get their disease under control and often have few treatment options other than oral steroids,” said Mike Tringale, vice president of external affairs at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “The potential to provide a long-term reduction in emergency room visits, asthma attacks and their associated need for oral steroid treatment is very important to patients with asthma.”