What is airway smooth muscle?
Air travels in and out of your lungs through airways. Airway smooth-muscle tissue surrounds the walls of the airways. People with asthma have more airway smooth muscle than people who don’t have asthma.1-3
During an asthma attack, this excess muscle constricts the airways, making it harder to breathe. The chest tightens, followed by wheezing and coughing—all symptoms of an asthma attack.2
Asthma medicines help open up the airways, but these medicines don’t always work well in people who have severe asthma.
Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is a revolutionary approach to treating this problem. BT actually reduces the amount of excess smooth-muscle tissue in the airways. With less of this tissue, the airways constrict less, breathing is easier, and there is less likelihood of an asthma attack.
1. Woodruff, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004. 169:1001-1006.
2. Cox, et al. Eur Respir J. 2004. 24:659-663.
3. Wechsler, Michael E. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2008. 29:1-6.