Bronchoscopic interventions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Research paper by Masamichi M Mineshita, Dirk-Jan DJ Slebos

Indexed on: 16 Aug '14Published on: 16 Aug '14Published in: Respirology


Over the past decade, several non-surgical and minimally invasive bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) techniques have been developed to treat patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). BLVR can be significantly efficacious, suitable for a broad cohort of patients, and associated with a solid safety profile at a reasonable expense. The introduction of BLVR is also expected to accelerate the further development of interventional pulmonology worldwide. Recently, results from clinical studies on BLVR techniques have been published, providing valuable information about the procedure's indications, contraindications, patient-selection criterion and outcomes. BLVR utilizing one-way endobronchial valves is gaining momentum as an accepted treatment in regular medical practice because of the identification of best responders. Patients with a heterogeneous emphysema distribution and without inter-lobar collateral ventilation show encouraging results. Furthermore, for patients with collateral ventilation, who are not considered candidates for valve treatment, and for patients with homogeneous emphysema, the introduction of lung volume reduction coil treatment is a promising solution. Moreover, with the development of newer treatment modalities, that is, biochemical sealant and thermal water vapor, the potential to treat emphysema irrespective of collateral flow, may be further increased. Nevertheless, patient selection for BLVR treatment will be crucial for the procedure's success and should be performed using a multidisciplinary team approach. Consequently, BLVR needs to be concentrated in high-volume centres that will offer better quality and experience with treatment challenges and adverse events. This review gives a general overview of BLVR from an expert and scientific perspective.