Mayo Clin Proc. 2023 Sep;98(9):1347-1352. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2023.05.001.
Patients with advanced emphysema frequently experience severe dyspnea that is inadequately treated with medical therapy alone. Over the past 4 years, we have seen increased usage of bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) with endobronchial valves. Success of the procedure is dependent on patient selection because it is not necessarily appropriate for all patients with severe emphysema. (Table 1) The purpose of this review is to highlight the selection process at a single institution. We also discuss the influence of this process on outcomes. Between March 1, 2019, and October 12, 2021, 2402 patients were referred to a dedicated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease clinic at Mayo Clinic – Rochester, whereas 161 patients were subsequently referred for multidisciplinary BLVR review. Of those patients, 53 (32.9%) were selected to receive valves and 35 (21.7%) ultimately underwent the procedure. The main reasons for exclusion included an incompatible quantitative computed tomography analysis (n=37, 34.3%), presence of pulmonary nodule or active malignancy (n=14, 13.0%), or need for completion of pulmonary rehabilitation (n=9, 8.3%). Full or partial (>70%) target lobe collapse was observed in 58.6% of patients who received valves. Those with collapse experienced statistically significant improvements in spirometric measures. Twelve patients experienced a pneumothorax (34.3%), with 10 patients requiring thoracostomy tube placement and prolonged hospitalization (median, 11 days; range, 4-39 days). Nineteen patients required a secondary procedure within the first year. The study highlights how a multidisciplinary approach to the BLVR selection process enables individualization of a complex procedure and enhances the exclusion of inappropriate candidates.