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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 7176816, 4 pages
Case Report

Lung Volume Reduction following Recurrent Pneumonia: An Unusual Finding in a COPD Patient

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Yihenew Negatu; moc.oohay@0891szay

Received 28 October 2016; Revised 9 February 2017; Accepted 23 February 2017; Published 8 March 2017

Academic Editor: Florian Thalhammer

Copyright © 2017 Yihenew Negatu and Philip T. Diaz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive disease. Frequent pneumonias and exacerbations are known to accelerate its progression. We present a case of severe emphysema whose lung function paradoxically improved following recurrent pneumonia, without lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS). A 54-year-old female with severe COPD presented for LVRS evaluation. She was not a candidate for the surgery because of the unsuitable anatomic distribution of her emphysema. The patient experienced recurrent pneumonia over the years but her lung function and oxygen requirement showed marked improvement. Follow-up imaging studies showed decreased lung volumes and focal fibrotic changes. We believe that the improvement in her lung function overtime is the reflection of lung volume reduction as a result of parenchymal remodeling due to repeated lung infection. These findings seen in our patient contribute important information for the continued effort in developing nonsurgical lung volume reduction techniques.