Elisabeth Manville
May 23, 2012

Implantable coils help emphysema patients breathe easier

A small coil made out of metal wire may be the key to relief for patients with severe emphysema. The wire, called a lung volume reduction coil (LVRC), gathers and compresses diseased lung tissue in patients with heterogeneous emphysema of both the upper and lower lobes of the lung. LVRC can be easily implanted and may replace more invasive procedures to improve lung function by allowing healthy lung tissue to expand and function more efficiently. In a new study, 53 patients were implanted with a total of 1,070 individual coils. Efficacy was measured by quality-of-life questionnaires given six months after treatment, which found that LVRC therapy led to a significant improvement in respiratory function, especially in patients with severe lung hyperinflation. The findings of the study were presented at the 2012 American Thoracic Society Conference in San Francisco.