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Tiny implanted coil improves lung function in patients with severe emphysema
Date:5/23/2012

ATS 2012, SAN FRANCISCO A tiny, resilient metal wire designed to gather and compress diseased lung tissue may offer relief to patients with severe heterogeneous emphysema, a subtype of the disease that involves specific, usually isolated areas of the lungs, according to the results of a multicenter international trial conducted in the Netherlands, Germany and France. The wire, called a lung volume reduction coil (LVRC), can be easily implanted and is designed to take the place of more invasive procedures used to improve the lung function of emphysema patients.

The study will be presented at the ATS 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.

"Our results indicate that LVRC treatment is technically feasible in both upper and lower regions of the lung in patients with severe heterogeneous emphysema, and results in significant improvements in pulmonary function, exercise capacity and quality of life, with an acceptable safety profile," said study lead author Dirk-Jan Slebos, MD, pulmonary physician at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), The Netherlands.

Lung volume reduction is performed in patients with emphysema in an effort to isolate diseased lung tissue and allow healthy lung tissue to expand and function more efficiently, which in turn helps the patient to breathe and function better. Because heterogeneous emphysema involves different areas, or lobes, of the lung, surgery to contain diseased lung tissue can be complicated and extensive. Use of wire coils, which can be implanted in relatively noninvasive bronchoscopic procedures, is emerging as a more effective, and safer, option than surgery for these patients. Coils are compressed during implantation, and expand to their original shape once implanted in the lung tissue.

Although a previous single-center trial showed LVRC to be safe and effective in patients with severe upper-lobe emphysema, Dr. Slebos said this study involved patients treated at 11 differ
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Contact: Nathaniel Dunford
ndunford@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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