HealthDay News — Lung volume reduction coil treatment may help improve the ability to exercise for patients with severe emphysema, according to a study published in the January 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gaetan Deslee, MD, PhD, of Reims University Hospital in France, and colleagues recruited 100 patients for the study. Fifty patients received usual care — rehabilitation and bronchodilators with or without inhaled corticosteroids and oxygen. The remaining 50 received usual care and also had approximately 10 nitinol coils per lobe endoscopically placed in their lungs. The study was conducted at 10 university hospitals in France.

The researchers found that after six months, 36% of the patients in the coil group had improvement of at least 59 yards in a six-minute walk test. Just 18% of those in the usual-care group had a similar improvement. The patients in the coil group also had a significant decrease in lung hyperinflation and sustained improvement in quality of life. The average one-year per-patient cost difference between the two groups of patients was $47,908.

“In this preliminary study of patients with severe emphysema followed up for six months, bronchoscopic treatment with nitinol coils compared with usual care resulted in improved exercise capacity with high short-term costs,” the authors write. “Further investigation is needed to assess durability of benefit and long-term cost implications.”

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