Bronchial rheoplasty for treatment of chronic bronchitis

Twelve-month results from a multicenter clinical trial

Arschang Valipour, Sebastian Fernandez-Bussy, Alvin J. Ing, Daniel P. Steinfort, Gregory I. Snell, Jonathan P. Williamson, Tajalli Saghaie, Louis B. Irving, Eli J. Dabscheck, William S. Krimsky, Jonathan Waldstreicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Rationale: Chronic bronchitis (CB) is characterized by productive cough with excessive mucus production, resulting in quality-of-life impairment and increased exacerbation risk. Bronchial rheoplasty uses an endobronchial catheter to apply nonthermal pulsed electrical fields to the airways. Preclinical studies have demonstrated epithelial ablation followed by regeneration of normalized epithelium. Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility, safety, and initial outcomes of bronchial rheoplasty in patients with CB. Methods: Pooled analysis of two separate studies enrolling 30 patients undergoing bilateral bronchial rheoplasty was conducted. Follow-up through 6 months (primary outcome) and 12 months included assessment of adverse events, airway histology, and changes in symptoms using the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Assessment Test and St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Measurements and Main Results: Bronchial rheoplasty was performed in all 30 patients (63% male; mean [SD] age, 67 [7.4]; mean [SD] postbronchodilator FEV 1, 65% [21%]; mean [SD] COPD Assessment Test score 25.6 [7.1]; mean [SD] SGRQ score, 59.6 [15.3]). There were no device-related and four procedure-related serious adverse events through 6 months, and there were none thereafter through 12 months. The most frequent nonserious, device- and/or procedure-related event through 6 months was mild hemoptysis in 47% (14 of 30) patients. Histologically, the mean goblet cell hyperplasia score was reduced by a statistically significant amount (P, 0.001). Significant changes from baseline to 6 months in COPD Assessment Test (mean, 27.9; median, 28.0; P = 0.0002) and SGRQ (mean, 214.6; median, 27.2; P = 0.0002) scores were observed, with similar observations through 12 months. Conclusions: This study provides the first clinical evidence of the feasibility, safety, and initial outcomes of bronchial rheoplasty in symptomatic patients with CB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-689
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the American Thoracic Society 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • lung diseases
  • bronchial diseases
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; obstructive
  • pulsed electric field
  • respiratory tract diseases

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