Bronchoscopic treatment of emphysema: an update
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the major causes of disability and mortality. The efficacy of maximal medical treatment, although effective at the early stages of the disease, becomes limited when extensive alveolar destruction is the main cause of respiratory failure. At this stage of the disease more aggressive options, when feasible, should be considered. Lung transplantation and lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) are currently available for a selected group of patients. Endoscopic alternatives to LVRS have progressively gained acceptance and are currently employed in patients with COPD. They promote lung deflation searching the same outcome as LVRS in terms of respiratory mechanics, ameliorating the distressing symptom of chronic dyspnea by decreasing the physiological dead space.