Indexed on: 25 Feb '98Published on: 25 Feb '98Published in: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of lung volume reduction surgery on pulmonary compliance, airway flow, and helium lung volumes in an elastase-induced emphysema animal model.A 15,000-unit bolus of elastase was aerosolized through an endotracheal tube in 14 New Zealand White rabbits to induce emphysema. Stapled lung volume reduction of bilateral upper and middle lobes was performed through a midline sternotomy at 4 weeks after induction of emphysema. Lung functions were measured at baseline before induction of emphysema, preoperatively at 4 weeks, and 1 week postoperatively.Compliance increased after induction of emphysema and decreased in response to lung volume reduction surgery. Functional residual capacity decreased after lung volume reduction surgery in proportion to the amount of excised lung tissue. Expired flows suggested improvement in response to lung volume reduction surgery. Histologic examination confirmed presence of diffuse heterogeneous emphysema in each animal at necropsy.The decreased compliance and increased airway flow after volume reduction surgery in this model parallels findings in human studies and suggests that similar mechanisms of increased elastic recoil and airway support contribute to improvement.