Asthma, Airway Smooth Muscle Cell, and Bronchial Thermoplasty
Gary M. Idelchik
Affiliation: 2219 Dorrington Street, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
Keywords: Airway hyperresponsiveness, airway narrowing, asthma, bronchial thermoplasty, chronic inflammation,
inflammatory-mediated remodeling, smooth muscle hypertrophy.
The chronic inflammation associated with asthma leads to remodeling of the lung resulting in
bronchoconstriction from airway hyperresponsiveness and progressive airway narrowing. Although the inflammation
related to asthma affects the epithelial lining, basement membrane and vascular supply of the airway, its affect on the
airway smooth muscle ultimately leads to both acute bronchoconstriction and progressive airway obstruction. Current
therapies, including inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting β2-adrenergic agonists, do not conclusively alter the
remodeling of the lung tissue related to asthma. The direct application of thermal energy to the airway, termed bronchial
thermoplasty, has been demonstrated to reduce the thickness and responsiveness of airway smooth muscle, as well as
reduce the incidence of acute exacerbations related to bronchoconstriction and improve progressive airway obstruction.
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