Immediate Complications and Flow Volume Changes During Treatment Phases of Bronchial Thermoplasty: A Single-Center Descriptive Study

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Introduction: Bronchial thermoplasty (B.T.) is a therapeutic bronchoscopic procedure in which controlled thermal energy is applied to the airway wall to decrease smooth muscle mass. Immediate complications of B.T. include acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma, upper and lower respiratory tract infection, hemoptysis, among others. Our study assessed these immediate adverse events and the changes in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1%) measured four hours after each procedure from baseline. The study also aimed to examine the number of activations during each cycle of treatment and its correlation to the corresponding change in FEV1% from baseline. Methods: A case-series analysis of 17 patients who underwent B.T. between 2014 and 2019 was done. Demographic, clinical characteristics, including pre and post-BT FEV1% measures, and the number of activations were obtained. Results: Acute exacerbation of asthma was the commonest complication accounting for 33%, 57%, and 75% after BT1, BT2, and BT3, respectively. There was deterioration in FEV1% after each treatment phase, the most significant being in BT3. There was no correlation between the number of heat activations with the change in FEV1% from baseline. Conclusion: The number of activations in B.T. does not correlate with the immediate deterioration in FEV1%, although exacerbation of asthma is the commonest complication post-B.T.