- Asthma, by definition is a variable disease. When there is more than normal natural variation in airflow, asthma can be provoked by a wide range of stimuli that include infectious, allergic, and environmental agents. Bronchoconstriction determines much of the short-term variability in airflow that characterizes asthma. Current treatments do not redress the excess smooth muscle mass that is present in the remodeled airway in chronic asthma. Thus, it is intriguing to consider the potential contribution of bronchial thermoplasty (a procedure that involves controlled heat treatment to reduce the mass of the airway smooth muscle) as an effective therapy for poorly controlled asthma.