Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction in severe emphysema

Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2008 May 1;5(4):454-60. doi: 10.1513/pats.200707-085ET.


Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) produces physiological, symptomatic, and survival benefits in selected patients with advanced emphysema. Because it is associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and cost, nonsurgical alternatives for achieving volume reduction have been developed. Three bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) approaches have shown promise and reached later-stage clinical trials. These include the following: (1) placement of endobronchial one-way valves designed to promote atelectasis by blocking inspiratory flow; (2) formation of airway bypass tracts using a radiofrequency catheter designed to facilitate emptying of damaged lung regions with long expiratory times; and (3) instillation of biological adhesives designed to collapse and remodel hyperinflated lung. The limited clinical data currently available suggest that all three techniques are reasonably safe. However, efficacy signals have been substantially smaller and less durable than those observed after LVRS. Studies to optimize patient selection, refine treatment strategies, characterize procedural safety, elucidate mechanisms of action, and characterize short- and longer-term effectiveness of these approaches are ongoing. Results will be available over the next few years and will determine whether BLVR represents a safe and effective alternative to LVRS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoscopes
  • Bronchoscopy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / surgery*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Factors