Indexed on: 07 Sep '16Published on: 07 Sep '16Published in: Bioscience trends
Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) is a minimally invasive treatment for severe emphysema, providing treatment options for patients who are unable to undergo lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) or lung transplantation. Current BLVR techniques include bronchoscopic volume reduction with valve implants, use of a lung volume reduction coil (LVRC), bronchoscopic thermal vapor ablation (BTVA), biological lung volume reduction (BioLVR), and use of airway bypass stents (ABS). To date, several randomized controlled trials of these bronchoscopic therapies have been conducted in patients with emphysema, and bronchoscopic volume reduction with valve implants remains the best approach thus far. Recent studies indicate that BLVR may be of great value in improving lung function, exercise capacity, and quality of life and that BLVR has the potential to replace conventional surgery for patients with severe emphysema. Optimal patient selection and the proper selection of the BLVR technique in accordance with patient characteristics are crucial to the success of BLVR. More multicenter, prospective, randomized controlled trials need to be conducted in the future to optimize the current selection strategy and evaluate the safety, efficiency, and long-term benefit of BLVR techniques.