SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association
New Procedure Helps Patients with Severe Emphysema
Emphysema is a serious lung disease that results in severe shortness of breath and impaired quality of life. Management of emphysema is challenging since there is no cure and current therapies, including lung reduction surgery, can be risky. A new study examined a minimally invasive procedure to see if it could improve shortness of breath and also be a safe and cost effective way to treat emphysema.
Researchers from Hôpital Universitaire de Reims, France studied a new procedure that permanently places several coils into the lung. The study included one hundred patients from ten centers across France. Fifty patients had coils placed in their lungs and the other fifty received standard medical treatment. Both groups were followed closely and assessed at six and twelve months. They participated in a six minute walk test to see if their breathing had improved, allowing them to walk farther.
Results showed that thirty-six percent of patients who received the coil treatment had improvement in the six minute walk test, compared to only eighteen percent in the control group. There was also a significant improvement in quality of life at six and twelve months for patients who received coil treatment.