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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 610802, 6 pages
Review Article

Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction

1Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, VP Thoracic Disease and Critical Care Service Line, Caritas Christi Health Care, Seton 6 East, 736 Cambridge Street, Brighton, MA 02135, USA
2Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore 169608

Received 25 July 2010; Revised 9 October 2010; Accepted 9 November 2010

Academic Editor: N. Ambrosino

Copyright © 2011 Armin Ernst and Devanand Anantham. 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.


The application of lung volume reduction surgery in clinical practice is limited by high postoperative morbidity and stringent selection criteria. This has been the impetus for the development of bronchoscopic approaches to lung volume reduction. A range of different techniques such as endobronchial blockers, airway bypass, endobronchial valves, thermal vapor ablation, biological sealants, and airway implants have been employed on both homogeneous as well as heterogeneous emphysema. The currently available data on efficacy of bronchoscopic lung volume reduction are not conclusive and subjective benefit in dyspnoea scores is a more frequent finding than improvements on spirometry or exercise tolerance. Safety data are more promising with rare procedure-related mortality, few serious complications, and short hospital length of stay. The field of bronchoscopic lung volume reduction continues to evolve as ongoing prospective randomized trials build on earlier feasibility data to clarify the true efficacy of such techniques.