Most patients required implantation of three to five valves to isolate the most damaged sections of their lungs. Computed tomography (CT) scanning confirmed significant reduction in size of the lung region where valves were placed, particularly among the subsets of patients with the most favorable responses.
Emphysema is the most common cause of respiratory-related death and the fourth most common cause of death overall in the United States. There are an estimated 1.8 million people in the U.S. who have emphysema, a disease heavily related to smoking.
Treated patients had a slightly higher risk of pneumonia. Most complications resolved within eight days of the procedure, and included shortness of breath, chest pain and low oxygen concentration in the bloodstream. Some patients who received valve treatment later had the valves removed for reasons including lack of efficacy or shifting of position. In nearly all cases, valves were easily removed up to a year following insertion.
Endobronchial valve data must be presented to the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services before the treatment becomes widely available to emphysema patients. Currently, the treatment is limited to those who took part in the clinical trial.
|Contact: Michele D. Baum|
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences