SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—An investigational noninvasive alternative to lung reduction surgery may become a new option for patients with emphysema who are not candidates for surgery, presenters said at the American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting.
In a multicenter preliminary pilot study, the safety and efficacy of the IBV Valve (Spiration) was tested on patients with severe upper-lobe emphysema. During a 27-month period, flexible bronchoscopy was used to implant 520 IBV valves in the upper lobes of the lung in 75 patients. An average of 6 to 7 valves was implanted in each patient.
In 46 of the patients receiving this umbrella-like valve, the treatment transferred an average of 20% of ventilation and perfusion to the healthier regions of the lung. At 6 months, two thirds of the responders showed significant improvements in oxygen use and the diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide.
Compared with nonresponders, the 46 patients who responded to treatment were younger (<75 years), did not have lingular treatment, and had fewer lung segments treated.
There were no reports of device migration or erosion.
“Patients responding to valve treatment may now be able to do simple, everyday activities…talk without trouble breathing, and can go out for shopping and entertainment,” said coinvestigator Atul C. Mehta, MD, FCCP, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. “Although valve treatment is still investigational, it may offer an alternative treatment for patients with emphysema who are not good candidates for lung-volume reduction surgery.”