Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Penn To Test New Thermal Energy Procedure To Reduce Asthmatic Symptoms

Date:
January 31, 2006
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Up until now, if you suffer from asthma, medication has been the only treatment available to you for relief. But now, clinical researchers at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) hope to open up a new avenue to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of asthma - through an investigative bronchoscopic procedure where the smooth muscle of the airway, which causes the spasm, is reduced using thermal energy.

Bronchial Thermoplasty™ is an investigative, minimally invasive procedure that reduces the amount of airway smooth muscle that is responsible for the constriction of airways in asthma patients. Using the Alair® System (seen here), manufactured by Asthmatx, physicians will go into the airway with a flexible bronchoscope through the nose or mouth and and by generating and applying thermal energy with the device, they will reduce underlying areas of smooth muscle in the small to medium size airways. This procedure may be useful in reducing the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms, such as breathing difficulty, and therefore improve the quality of life for patients who suffer from asthma.
Credit: Image Courtesy: Asthmatx, Inc.

Up until now, if you suffer from asthma, medication has been the only treatment available to you for relief. But now, clinical researchers at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) hope to open up a new avenue to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of asthma - through an investigative bronchoscopic procedure where the smooth muscle of the airway, which causes the spasm, is reduced using thermal energy.

"Even though the smooth muscle in your airway serves no identifiable purpose, when something does go wrong with it, it can cause problems," explains Ali Musani, MD, an interventional pulmonologist at Penn and principal investigator of the study. "It can constrict, tighten, and narrow the airway considerably -- causing real health consequences for asthmatics."

Interventional pulmonologists will explore, for the first time in the United States, a new way to treat asthma. Physicians will actually go into the airways with a bronchoscope, which is a routine procedure, and by generating and applying thermal energy, will reduce areas of underlying smooth muscle in the small to medium size airways with a new medical device. The Alair® System - which is manufactured by Asthmatx, Inc. - consists of a single-use device and a controller that delivers thermal energy to the bronchial wall during an outpatient bronchoscopic procedure known as Bronchial Thermoplasty.

The system, which has an expandable wire basket at the tip, consists of four arms that come in contact with and fit snugly against the airway wall. The expanded basket then delivers controlled radio frequency energy for about 10 seconds to heat the airway smooth muscle. Once the treatment session is completed, the device and the bronchoscope are removed. The controlled heat is designed to reduce the amount of airway smooth muscle in the airway wall, thus reducing the ability of the airway walls to contract and narrow and spasm in response to irritation, infection or inflammation.

"This is a minimally invasive procedure performed in a bronchoscopy suite," says Maureen George, PhD, RN, AE-C, Coordinator, Comprehensive Asthma Care Program in the Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division at HUP. "The procedure itself takes only about an hour to complete and no general anesthesia is used. This is done on an outpatient basis as a bronchoscopic procedure, with conscious sedation (in which a tube is placed through the mouth or nose and positioned into the lungs). There is no incision and no need to stay overnight."

During the clinical trial, physicians will treat one-third of the lungs in each treatment period for three treatment sessions total. Also, patients who are currently highly medicated will stay on their medication for the duration of the study.

In this country, severe asthmatics are a major health problem. It's predicted that 40-50% of adults suffer from asthma leading to lost days at work. Asthma is a common disease in which the airways in the lung become inflamed, excess airway mucus is produced, and airways narrow when muscles within the airway walls contract. Asthma affects more than 20 million people in the U.S.

"There's no expectation that this new procedure will cure asthma but we're hopeful it will be useful in reducing the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms and help to improve the quality of life for asthma sufferers," comments Musani.

Penn researchers have received approval to begin the AIR 2 (Asthma Interventional Research) clinical trial and are now enrolling patients. If you have asthma, are between 18 and 65 years of age, and are a non-smoker, you may be eligible to participate in this study. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is the only site involved in this trial in the state and will eventually be one of 20 sites nationally.

###

For questions about enrolling in the trial at Penn, call 1-866-400-AIR2.

For more information on the AIR 2 trial, go to: www.AIR2Trial.com

Drs. Ali Musani and Maureen George have no financial interest in Asthmatx. The study is sponsored by Asthmatx.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Penn To Test New Thermal Energy Procedure To Reduce Asthmatic Symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060131090123.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2006, January 31). Penn To Test New Thermal Energy Procedure To Reduce Asthmatic Symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060131090123.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Penn To Test New Thermal Energy Procedure To Reduce Asthmatic Symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060131090123.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins