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Clinical Investigations: SURGERY |

Correlation of Changes in Quality of Life After Lung Volume Reduction Surgery With Changes in Lung Function, Exercise, and Gas Exchange*

Vadim Leyenson, MD, FCCP; Satoshi Furukawa, MD; Anne Marie Kuzma, RN; Francis Cordova, MD, FCCP; John Travaline, MD, FCCP; Gerard J. Criner, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine (Drs. Leyenson, Cordova, Travaline, and Criner and Ms. Kuzma), Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery (Dr. Furukawa), Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

Correspondence to: Gerard J. Criner, MD, FCCP, Professor of Medicine and Director, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, 3401 N Broad St, Suite 785, Philadelphia, PA 19140



Chest. 2000;118(3):728-735. doi:10.1378/chest.118.3.728
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Study objectives: To evaluate correlations between improvement in quality of life (QOL) in patients with severe COPD before and after they undergo lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) with changes in pulmonary function tests, gas exchange, exercise performance, and alterations in medical management.

Design: Case-series analysis.

Setting: University hospital.

Patients: Forty-two patients (mean [± SD] age, 56 ± 8 years; 53% women) with severe airflow obstruction (FEV1, 0.62 ± 0.2 L), and moderate to severe hyperinflation (total lung capacity [TLC], 6.9 ± 1.7 L).

Intervention and measurements: All patients underwent bilateral LVRS via median sternotomy. Measurements of lung function, symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise testing, the total distance the patient was able to walk in 6 min in a corridor, and sickness impact profile (SIP) scores were made before and 3 months after LVRS. SIP scores are inversely proportional to the level of function and QOL.

Results: Compared to baseline, FEV1 increased (0.87 ± 0.3 vs 0.62 ± 0.2 L, respectively; p < 0.01) while residual volume significantly decreased (3.2 ± 1.8 vs 6.3 ± 1.2 L, respectively; p < 0.004) at 3 months post-LVRS. On cardiopulmonary exercise testing, values increased from baseline to post-LVRS for total exercise time (9.0 ± 2.2 vs 6.0 ± 1.5 min, respectively; p = 0.045), maximum oxygen uptake (V̇o2) (16 ± 3 vs 11 ± 2 mL/kg/min, respectively; p = 0.01), and maximum minute ventilation (V̇e) (33 ± 9 vs 28 ± 5 L/min, respectively; p = 0.03). The percentage change in the oxygen cost of breathing (V̇o2/V̇e ratio) from low to high workloads during exercise was significantly lower after LVRS (p = 0.002). There was no significant change in oxygenation after LVRS (Pao2/fraction of inspired oxygen, 331 ± 27 vs 337 ± 39, respectively; p = 0.76), but Paco2 tended to be lower (41 ± 9 vs 48 ± 6 mm Hg, respectively; p = 0.07). Overall SIP scores were significantly lower after LVRS than before (8 ± 4 vs 15 ± 2, respectively; p = 0.002). Changes in SIP scores correlated with the change in V̇o2/V̇e ratio from low to high workloads, with patients having the smallest changes in V̇o2/V̇e ratio having the smallest changes in SIP scores after LVRS (r = 0.6; p = 0.01). Improved or lower SIP scores also tended to correlate with a reduction in residual volume/TLC ratio (r = 0.45; p = 0.09), and there was a linear correlation with a statistically significant Pearson r value with decreased steroid requirements (r = 0.7; p = 0.001). Moreover, changes in psychological SIP subscore tended to correlate with diminished oxygen requirements post-LVRS (r = 0.45; p = 0.09). However, there was no significant correlation between changes in SIP scores and routine measurements of lung function, exercise performance, or gas exchange.

Conclusion: There is an association between an improvement in QOL and reduced hyperinflation after LVRS. Reduced hyperinflation may lead to more efficient work of breathing during exercise and, therefore, to an increased ability to perform daily activities. Changes in QOL scores correlate best with behaviorally based variables that directly affect the patient’s well-being, such as systemic steroid administration.

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