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Eur Respir J. 1999 May;13(5):1170-6.

Short- and long-term functional results after lung volume reduction surgery for severe emphysema.

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  • 1Ruhrlandklinik, Dept of Respiratory Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Essen, Germany.


Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) has emerged as a surgical therapeutic intervention for advanced emphysema. Designed for the relief of dyspnoea, LVRS has been demonstrated to be efficacious in a subset of carefully selected patients. Short-term improvements in dyspnoea are accompanied by improvements in forced expiratory volume in one second ranging 13-96%. Lung volumes likewise improve, with lessening of trapped gas, residual volume, and total lung capacity. Improvements in functional status and quality-of-life measures parallel the improvements in dyspnoea and lung function. One preliminary study suggests that life expectancy after 3 yrs may be improved following LVRS. Many questions regarding lung volume reduction surgery in terms of operative technique, selection of patients, and outcome remain to be answered. Data are available which begin to address some of these issues. Bilateral procedures have greater short-term improvements than unilateral procedures, but the rate of loss of function following the surgery may also be greater. Stapled resection of lung tissue has been demonstrated to be superior to laser ablation. In a majority of reports, outcome is superior in patients with heterogeneous distribution of their emphysema, and patients with alpha1-proteinase inhibitor deficiency emphysema do less well than patients with smoker's emphysema.

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