Background: Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) has been shown to improve lung function, exercise performance, and quality of life in highly selected individuals with severe emphysema; however, major questions regarding the efficacy and long-term outcomes of LVRS still remain unanswered. Pending the results of large randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the Australian and New Zealand LVRS Database was created to audit local clinical practice and patient outcomes.
Aims: To review patient selection, surgical activity, and patient outcomes related to LVRS in Australia and New Zealand.
Methods: Prospective data were voluntarily submitted by hospitals performing LVRS in Australia and New Zealand. Preoperative, surgical, perioperative, and follow-up variables were analyzed.
Results: Data were collected from 15 hospitals regarding 529 patients. Mean age (± SD) at surgery was 63 ± 7 years. Preoperatively, FEV1 was 29 ± 9% predicted, total lung capacity (TLC) was 138 ± 20% predicted, residual volume (RV) was 250 ± 64% predicted, and 6-min walk (6MW) distance was 327 ± 111 m. There has been a reduction in the overall number of cases and hospitals performing LVRS since 1999. Improvements in lung function following LVRS (ie, FEV1 increase of 38%, RV decrease of 27%, TLC decrease of 17%) and exercise capacity (ie, 6MW distance increase of 24%) appear to be maintained for approximately 3 years.
Conclusions: LVRS continues to be performed in Australia and New Zealand, predominantly in large tertiary teaching hospitals with similar outcomes to those described in the literature. It remains difficult to capture long-term lung function and survival outcomes in this population. Ongoing audit and RCTs are both required to resolve the confusion that still shrouds this procedure.