Endobronchial volume reduction: a myth or a marvel?

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2004 Aug;25(4):399-404. doi: 10.1055/s-2004-832712.


Recently, several techniques and devices have been suggested for achieving endobronchial volume reduction in patients with emphysema. The proposed devices include bronchial blockers, bronchial valves, glues, biomodulators, and stents for bronchial fenestration; all could be positioned only with flexible bronchoscopy. The current available evidence on safety and efficacy for these methods is based on animal studies and patient case series at best; therefore, all the results should be seen with caution. However, the preliminary work reviewed here suggests that most of the proposed techniques can work, and seem to be safer than surgical volume reduction. We do not yet have a proven, widely applicable endobronchial palliative treatment for severe emphysema, but we have a rapidly growing area of new research in interventional pneumology with preliminary results that challenge traditional medical thinking.