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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
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Minerva Pneumologica 1999 March;38(1):1-6

language: English

Lung volume reduction surgery for severe emphysema

Demertzis S., Wilkens H., Lindenmeir M., Graeter T., Schäfers H. J.


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Background. We report mid-term results after 25 consecutive lung volume reduction operations (LVRS) for the treatment of severe dyspnea due to advanced emphysema.
Methods. Study design: patients were studied prospectively up to 12 months after surgery. Setting: preoperative evaluation, surgery and postoperative care took place in our university hospital. Patients: patient selection was based on severe dyspnea and airway obstruction despite optimal medical treatment, lung overinflation and compelted rehabilitation programme. Patients with severe hypercarbia (PCO2>50 mmHg) were excluded. Nineteen rehabilitated patients who fullfilled our inclusion criteria but postponed or denied LVRS were followed up clinically. Interventions: LVRS was performed bilaterally in 22 patients (median sternotomy) and unilaterally in 3 patients (limited thoracotomy). Measures: outocme was measured by dyspnea evaluation, 6-minute-walking distance and pulmonary function tests.
Results. Twelve months postoperatively dyspnea and mobility improved significantly (MRC score from 3.3±0.7 to 2.12±0.8, 6-min-walk from 251±190 to 477±189 m). These results were superior compared to the results of the conservatively treated patients. Significant improvement could alse be documented in airway obstruction (FEVI from 960±369 to 1438±610 ml) and overinflation (TLC from 133±14 to 118±21% predicted and RV from 250±56 to 186±59% predicted).
Conclusions. LRVS is an effective and promising treatment option for selected patients with endstage emphysema and could be offered as an alternative and/or bridge to lung transplantation.

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