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Endobronchial Valve Improves Emphysema Lung Function

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Dec 2018
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Image: An umbrella-shaped valve helps emphysema patients breathe lighter (Photo courtesy of Olympus Medical).
Image: An umbrella-shaped valve helps emphysema patients breathe lighter (Photo courtesy of Olympus Medical).
A novel endobronchial treatment for severe emphysema offers patients non-invasive screening and an improved quality of life following therapy.

The Olympus Medical (Olympus; Tokyo, Japan) Spiration Valve System (SVS) includes an umbrella shaped device that improves breathing by blocking airflow to targeted airways of the lung, leading to volume reduction in the diseased section. This allows the remaining healthier tissue in other portions of the lung to function better. The SVS valve consists of a Nitinol frame covered with a polymer membrane and five fixation anchors to securely engage the airway walls, eliminating migration and expectoration at the targeted treatment location. The minimally invasive procedure is performed through a flexible bronchoscope in a matter of minutes.

Unlike a stent, the unique design of the Spiration Valve limits airflow to the damaged tissue, while at the same time allowing trapped air and secretions to escape naturally along the bronchial wall. The SVS also minimizes contact with the bronchial wall, maintaining position to redirect air even in complex patients, and facilitates removal when needed using the central rod. Complete occlusion of a targeted lobe by the valves enables significant lobar volume reduction, relieving hyperinflation and allowing the patient to breathe easier.

“Treatment of severe emphysema with the SVS resulted in statistical and clinically meaningful improvements in FEV1, target lobe volume reduction, dyspnea, and quality-of-life parameters, with a good safety profile,” said Professor Gerard Criner, MD, of Temple University (Philadelphia, PA, USA). “This resulted in improved quality of life and patient satisfaction. Dyspnea is the most common symptom in patients with advanced emphysema and severe hyperinflation, and is the most refractory to medical treatment.”

Advanced emphysema is a chronic, debilitating disease that causes irreversible damage to delicate lung tissue, characterized by reduced lung function, increased lung volume, and loss of the lung's natural elastic properties. As the disease progresses and more lung tissue is destroyed, excess air is trapped, making it difficult to exhale. This hyperinflation is responsible for feeling “short of breath,” manifested by continuous fatigue, chronic coughing, wheezing, and frequent respiratory infections.

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