Lung Volume Reduction Surgery as a Bridge to Lung Transplantation

Research paper by Francis C. Cordova, Gerard J. Criner

Indexed on: 20 Aug '12Published on: 20 Aug '12Published in: American journal of respiratory medicine : drugs, devices, and other interventions


Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) improves lung function, exercise capacity, and quality of life in patients with advanced emphysema. In some patients with emphysema who are candidates for lung transplantation, LVRS is an alternative treatment option to lung transplantation, or may be used as a bridge to lung transplantation. Generally accepted criteria for LVRS include severe non-reversible airflow obstruction due to emphysema associated with significant evidence of lung hyperinflation and air trapping. Both high resolution computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest and quantitative ventilation/perfusion scan are used to identify lung regions with severe emphysema which would be used as targets for lung resection. Bilateral LVRS is the preferred surgical approach compared with the unilateral procedure because of better functional outcome. Lung transplantation is the preferred surgical treatment in patients with emphysema with α1 antitrypsin deficiency and in patients with very severe disease who have homogeneous emphysema pattern on CT scan of the chest or very low diffusion capacity.