Long-term results of lung volume reduction surgery

Fujimoto, T.; Teschler, H.; Hillejan, L.; Zaboura, G.; Stamatis, G.
March 2002
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Mar2002, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p483
Academic Journal
Objective: Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) is effective in the short and intermediate term for the improvement of pulmonary function and subjective symptoms in selected patients with advanced emphysema. The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term functional results of LVRS and to investigate which subgroups would benefit in terms of long-term survival. Methods: All records of the patients who underwent LVRS between 1994 and, 1998 at our hospital were reviewed. Results: Eighty-eight consecutive patients underwent LVRS during the period. There were 62 men and 26 women with an average age of 56.1 years (range 34–72 years). Eleven patients with α1-antitrypsin deficiency were included. The perioperative mortality rate (<90 days) was 2.3% (n=2). Total lung capacity (7.5±0.3 l) and residual volume (4.8±0.3 l) at 3 years remained lower than baseline (9.2±0.2 l, 6.5±0.2 l, each) (P<0.001). The mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) at 3 years (0.86±0.08 l) was higher than baseline (0.78±0.02 l), but the difference did not reach statistical significance. The FEV1 of the patients with α1-antitrypsin deficiency and of those with respiratory bronchiolitis returned to baseline at one year after LVRS and showed further deterioration. Overall survival rate at 5 years was 71.0% with the mean length of follow-up of 54.2 months. The survival difference was statistically significant between patients with preoperative FEV1≥28.5% and those with FEV1<28.5% (P=0.0152). Conclusions: The improvement of total lung capacity and residual volume persisted long after the operation. Patients with α1-antitrypsin deficiency and those with bronchiolitis showed early deterioration of the lung function. Patients with higher preoperative FEV1 had a survival benefit. The favorable long-term survival might justify LVRS for the treatment of selected patients with severe emphysema.


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