[Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) in advanced pulmonary emphysema: dreams of the future or much ado about nothing?].

Research paper by F F Stanzel

Indexed on: 25 Nov '11Published on: 25 Nov '11Published in: Pneumologie (Stuttgart, Germany)


Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) is a rapidly developing area and at present it is being intensively evaluated and discussed. There is a great interest in developing new treatment modalities that can reduce lung volume and air trapping without the risk of a surgical intervention. The different techniques of BLVR are characterised by lower morbidity and mortality, but by a more limited effect too. The placement of valves leads to blockade of the airway and sometimes to absorption atelectasis. The valves have been most intensively evaluated and are frequently applied. Beside the blocking devices there are partially blocking or deforming devices available as coils that are introduced in heterogeneous emphysema. Irreversible procedures such as polymeric lung volume reduction or thermal vapour ablation are used too. The creation of airway bypasses to allow trapped air to escape is mainly employed in homogenous emphysema. Following such by-pass creation there is an increase of lung function tests and a reduction of dyspnea, but only for a limited time. The bypass procedure has disappeared from bronchoscopy units completely. We give a review of the recent developments regarding BLVR and the state of the art.