Bronchoscopic procedures for COPD: a breath of fresh air

Jonathan P Williamson, Tajalli Saghaie, Alvin J Ing



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects about 15% of the Australian population aged over 40 years and 40% of those aged over 75 years. Treatment options for advanced disease are limited, but novel bronchoscopic procedures can offer physiological benefits in carefully selected patients.

Article Extract

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is common in Australia and treatment options for advanced disease are limited.
  • Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) procedures in carefully selected patients with advanced COPD offer similar physiological benefits to surgical lung volume reduction without the high perioperative risk profile.
  • BLVR using one-way endobronchial valves to treat advanced COPD leads to improvements in exercise capacity, lung function and respiratory-related quality of life.
  • Complications associated with endobronchial valves include pneumothorax, pneumonia and exacerbation of COPD. These can usually be managed with standard therapies.
  • Newer interventions including lung coils, steam therapy, endobronchial glue and bronchial wall denervation are being evaluated in patients with advanced COPD and are likely to become available in the future.

Picture credit: © James King-Holmes/SPL
Models used for illustrative purposes only