Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a recent, promising and well-tolerated technique for the treatment of severe asthma. By delivering thermal energy to the airway wall, this procedure can induce early pulmonary opacities seen on computed tomography (CT). We aimed to examine early CT modifications induced by BT and to determine their association with respiratory symptoms.
Unenhanced chest CT was performed the day after each BT session in 13 patients with severe asthma, leading to the examination of 38 treated lobes. A total of 15 BT-treated lobes were evaluated in 11 patients at 1 month. The first two patients also underwent CT at 1 week.
No symptoms suggestive of pulmonary infection were noted following BT in any patient. Peribronchial consolidations and ground-glass opacities were observed in all treated lobes on day 1, with three lower lobes showing complete collapse. Mild involvement of an adjacent untreated lobe was observed in 12 out of 38 (32%) cases. Opacities had decreased in 5 out of 15 (33%) and disappeared in 10 out of 15 (67%) at 1 month.
BT induced early pulmonary peribronchial hyperdensities in all treated lobes. These alterations were unrelated to clinical symptoms and spontaneously decreased or disappeared after 1 month.
Consistent early transient peribronchial consolidations after bronchial thermoplasty do not require antibiotics http://ow.ly/Unzd307ckhL
Support statement: Funding for this study as provided by Legs Poix, Chancellerie des Universités, Paris, France and Boston Scientific, Natick, MA, USA. Funding information for this article has been deposited with the Open Funder Registry.
Conflict of interest: Disclosures can be found alongside this article at erj.ersjournals.com
- Received August 4, 2016.
- Accepted November 29, 2016.
- Copyright ©ERS 2017