Bronchoscopic lung-volume reduction in emphysema patients without interlobar collateral ventilation

29 June, 2016

Endobronchial-valve treatment significantly improves pulmonary function and exercise capacity in patients with severe emphysema when the patient has an absence of interlobar collateral ventilation, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Despite these advances a serious number of adverse effects occurred within the trial.

The benefits of bronchoscopic lung-volume reduction with the use of one-way endobronchial valves (EBV), as a potential treatment for patients with severe emphysema across the board, have been uncertain to date. 68 patients were monitored as part of the study. All had an absence of interlobar collateral ventilation. Half of the patients were randomly assigned to the EBV group, whilst the other half were assigned to the continued standard medical care group. The patients were monitored from baseline to 6 months, noting changes in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and 6-minute walk distance.

After a 6-month period, the EBV group showed significant improvements: the increase in FEV1 was greater in the EBV group than in the control group by 140 ml; the increase in FVC was greater by 347 ml; and the increase in the 6-minute walk distance was greater by 74m.

Although the study notes significant improvements in pulmonary function and exercise capacity of the EBV, a higher number of adverse effects occurred within the EBV group when compared to the continued standard medical care group: 23 serious adverse events in the EBV group, compared to 5 in the control group.

Read the study in NEJM