United Kingdom Report - Royal Brompton Hospital

Innovative lung volume coil reduces severe emphysema symptoms

Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care provide pioneering diagnostics and treatment to international patients with heart and lung conditions. Many of our consultants are world leaders in their field and offer some of the most sophisticated treatment available anywhere across the globe.

Early this year a new innovative service was launched at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals in London, UK to treat severe emphysema patients. Lung volume reduction coils are implanted into the diseased parts of the patient’s lung during a minimally invasive bronchoscopy procedure, typically taking only 30-45 minutes per procedure. Treatment involves two separate procedures, for each lung, 4-6 weeks apart. This treatment helps to reduce hyperinflation in severe emphysema patients, resulting in a reduction in difficult or laboured breathing.

The PneumRx® Coils are made of a shape-memory material called Nitinol, common in medical implants such as heart stents. The PneumRx® coils are implanted into the airways via a catheter, and once in place are designed to gently regain their shape, gathering up loose, inelastic lung tissue and holding open surrounding airways. Ten or more coils are placed at each procedure to tighten the entire airway network and achieve the optimal effects.

The coils improve lung function in three ways. Firstly, they compress diseased tissue, which provides room for healthier tissue to function; secondly, they re-tension adjacent parenchyma, helping to increase the lung’s elasticity, which may enable the lung to more efficiently contract during the breathing cycle; finally, the coil tethers open small airways, preventing airway collapse during exhalation.

Dr Samuel Kemp, Royal Brompton Hospital respiratory physician who performs the treatment says: “Patients with emphysema often have disabling breathlessness which does not respond significantly to drug therapy. Lung volume reduction coil treatment can offer relief from some of these symptoms, giving patients an improvement in quality of life.”

Following the procedure a patient can typically return home after just one night in the hospital and see results almost immediately. Patients treated with coils may experience significant improvement in exercise capacity, lung function and quality of life.


Date of upload: 19th Nov 2017

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