A recent study published in CHEST found that routine bronchoscopy is safe and helpful for patients with severe uncontrolled asthma who are eligible for biologic treatment.
Bronchoscopy was determined to be effective in phenotyping and personalizing asthma management, according to the research findings. The multicenter study conducted by doctors from Spain and Egypt included patients from five teaching hospitals.
Routine bronchoscopy enables cluster analysis of patients with severe uncontrolled asthma and helps identify treatable traits that are not accurately detected otherwise, the researchers found. Those include such traits as upper airway disease, tissue eosinophilia and infections.
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A previous study published in the American Journal of Critical Care Medicine showed that persistent airway inflammation in patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma is evident in bronchoalveolar (BAL) samples and other specimens, despite high doses of oral corticosteroids.
Despite use of various asthma medications, about 3 to 7 percent of the population have severe, uncontrolled asthma. Research during the past 10 years has brought increased focus to the importance of phenotypes and endotypes of asthma, the authors wrote.
Bronchoscopy has been found to help in the study of comorbidities aggravating asthma control. The researchers noted a weakness in the study in that although some treatable traits were identified and managed according to clinical practice, their work was not designed to evaluate the effect of treatments on asthma control.
Single-use bronchoscopes like those sold by Ambu simplify bronchoscopy because they are sterile straight from the pack and never need repairs or reprocessing. Since single-use scopes like Ambu’s are always available, adding to caseloads to meet new demand for bronchoscopy in asthma patients is far simpler than it would be if larger numbers of reusable scopes had to be made available.
Ambu also has reimagined the 50-year-old system of bronchoalveolar lavage by inventing a closed loop sampling system that prevents sample loss and can be performed by a single clinician using one hand.