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Screening for Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction: Reasons for Not Receiving Interventional Treatment

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Abstract

Background

Evidence for bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) is based on phase 2 studies and small randomized controlled trials with in- and exclusion criteria defining a therapeutic window and contraindications. Little is known about the applicability in routine clinical practice.

Aim

Which percentage of patients with severe emphysema referred to a specialized treatment center for BLVR is ultimately suitable for interventional bronchoscopic treatment? What is the relevance of the different contraindications?

Methods

Retrospective evaluation of emphysema patients referred to Asklepios Fachkliniken Munich-Gauting for BLVR between January 2014 and June 2015.

Results

138 patients were referred for evaluation of BLVR. 38 patients (27.5%) underwent BLVR procedures (valves n = 18; coils n = 18; thermal vapor ablation n = 2). 100 patients (72.5%) were deemed not eligible for BLVR based on the following contraindications: 34% emphysema morphology and emphysema-related findings (severe homogeneous emphysema, extensive pleuropulmonary adhesions, postinflammatory scaring with natural volume reduction, giant bullae), 16% active smoking; 9% pulmonary function not within indication range; 8% unexpected CT findings (nodules, cancer, interstitial disease); 8% chronic ventilatory failure; 8% patient refused BLVR; 5% relevant comorbidity; 5% frequent exacerbations, 3% preserved quality of life, 4% other.

Conclusion

BLVR is a therapeutic option for highly selected patients. In our cohort, one in four could be treated. These data highlight the limitations of BLVR under real-life conditions.

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Correspondence to Wolfgang Gesierich.

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May, N., Niehaus-Gebele, C., Reichenberger, F. et al. Screening for Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction: Reasons for Not Receiving Interventional Treatment. Lung 198, 221–228 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00408-019-00303-7

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Keywords

  • Emphysema
  • Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR)
  • Contraindications
  • Real-life data