Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects millions of people and has limited treatment options. Surgical treatments for severe COPD with emphysema are effective for highly selected patients. A minimally invasive method for treating emphysema could decrease morbidity and increase acceptance by patients. Objective: To study the safety and effectiveness of the IBV® Valve for the treatment of severe emphysema. Methods: A multicenter study treated 91 patients with severe obstruction, hyperinflation and upper lobe (UL)-predominant emphysema with 609 bronchial valves placed bilaterally into ULs. Results: Valves were placed in desired airways with 99.7% technical success and no migration or erosion. There were no procedure-related deaths and 30-day morbidity and mortality were 5.5 and 1.1%, respectively. Pneumothorax was the most frequent serious device-related complication and primarily occurred when all segments of a lobe, especially the left UL, were occluded. Highly significant health-related quality of life (HRQL) improvement (–8.2 ± 16.2, mean ± SD change at 6 months) was observed. HRQL improvement was associated with a decreased volume (mean –294 ± 427 ml, p = 0.007) in the treated lobes without visible atelectasis. FEV1, exercise tests, and total lung volume were not changed but there was a proportional shift, a redirection of inspired volume to the untreated lobes. Combined with perfusion scan changes, this suggests that there is improved ventilation and perfusion matching in non-UL lung parenchyma. Conclusion: Bronchial valve treatment of emphysema has multiple mechanisms of action and acceptable safety, and significantly improves quality of life for the majority of patients.

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