What are the possible complications of bronchial thermoplasty (BT)?

Updated: Mar 30, 2021
  • Author: Said A Chaaban, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Recurrent lung atelectasis secondary to fibrin plugs has been reported as an early complication of BT. In the susceptible patient, high thermal stimulation may lead to an inflammatory reaction with microvascular alteration, induced either by heat or by the release of inflammatory mediators. [45]  Lung abscess has also been described as a direct complication; thus, collecting and publishing safety data continue to be important. [46]

A prospective cohort study performed as part of the TASMA trial reported a high incidence of acute radiologic abnormalities after BT. [47] Postprocedural CT of the chest identified four different radiologic patterns: (1) peribronchial consolidations with surrounding ground-glass opacities (94%), (2) atelectasis (38%), (3) partial bronchial occlusions (63%), and (4) bronchial dilatations (19%). These complications resolved without clinical impact in virtually all cases.

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