Bronchial Thermoplasty

People who suffer from severe asthma can now breathe easier thanks to bronchial thermoplasty (BT).
Bronchial Thermoplasty

Improved patient experiences

  • 83% of participants reported lower costs after three months of BT
  • 62% projected savings over 2-year measurement
  • 79% of patients who were treated with BT reported a significant improvement intheir asthma-related quality of life1
  • BT patients saw a substantial decrease in the number of unscheduled doctor visits, hospitalization, and days lost from work and other activities
Dr. Antonios Zikos

Real Benefits for Clinicians

“After receiving bronchial thermoplasty, patients could breathe easier and were less dependent on steroids or albuterol inhalers, allowing them to return to their work and family.”

Antonios Zikos, DO – Clinical Lead
Allegheny Health Network Pulmonary Disease Specialist

A VITAL collaboration

Through VITAL’s collaboration with Boston Scientific and Allegheny Health Network doctors, asthma patients now have another option for relieving their symptoms that cannot be controlled with medicine.

Boston Scientific’s Alair™ BT system is meant to work in conjunction with patients’ maintenance medication. It helps provide long-term stability, so they have fewer attacks.

The innovative alternative BT technique not only improves lives, it is minimally invasive for patients. They undergo three separate 30-minute outpatient treatmentsthat focus on different areas of the lungs.

Doctors insert the BT device with a bronchoscope through the nose or mouth. Mild heat is applied to the airway to reduce excess smooth muscle. This minimizes its narrowing during an asthma attack and makes it easier for the patient to breathe.

Asthma is a major health concern that affects more than 25 million Americans.

Poorly controlled asthma impacts a person’s quality of life, increases health care utilization, and imposes social and economic burdens.


Bronchial thermoplasty has been approved for reimbursement on a case-by-case basis.

1Castro M, et al, for the AIR2 Trial Study Group. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;181:116 – 124.

2Barnett S and Numagambetov T. Costs of asthma in the United States: 2002 – 2007. JACI. 2011. Jan:127(1):145 – 152. DOI: – 9/abstract

3CDC. National Center for Environmental Health. Asthma’s Impact on the Nation: Data from the CDC National Asthma Control Program. 2014.

4Source: VITAL | Allegheny Health Network | Highmark Health | Bronchial Thermoplasty pilot 2015 – 2017