Objective Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a bronchoscopic procedure for patients with severe asthma. Although it has been suggested that BT works by reducing airway smooth muscle, the detailed mechanism underlying its effects is still unknown. Methods We performed xenon ventilation computed tomography (Xe-CT) before each BT procedure and six weeks after the third treatment to assess the improvement in lung ventilation at each separate lung region. The air trapping index in each lobe was defined as the mean trapping value (0: none, 1: mild, 2: moderate, and 3: severe) of the included segments. Patients and Materials Four patients were included. Results Asthma symptoms were improved after BT. The comparison of the scores at baseline with those after the third treatment showed that the air trapping index was improved in both the treated and untreated regions. However, neither the pulmonary function nor the exhaled nitric oxide was improved. Conclusion Using Xe-CT, we successfully evaluated the air trapping in patients who underwent BT. The improvement in asthma symptoms by BT may be related to the amelioration of peripheral lung ventilation in both the treated and untreated regions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine