PURPOSE: Placement of endobronchial valves (EBV) for treatment of emphysema has gained increasing popularity. Two main issues are finding the optimal target area and quantifiying the results. For the purpose among complex lung function testing and x-ray/CT investigation with isotpes plays an important role. We explored in this preliminary feasibility and safety study, whether VRI could also be applied for this purpose.
METHODS: In 6 patients that were planned for EBV placement we performed VRI before and within one day after the procedure, without prior knowledge of the target area as assessed by the other established methods. Vibration response imaging (VRI) is a computer-based non-invasive, radiation free device that provides dynamic images of the lungs and quantitative data by recording vibrations from the chest wall, using 40 piezoelectric acoustic sensors, and converts the signals toa dynamic grey scale image of the lung.
RESULTS: In 5/6 patients we were correct in predicting the lobe which was afterwards treated by placement of different devices and we could also observe significant changes after the procedure.
CONCLUSION: The results of these preliminary investigations encouraged us to plan a prospective IRB approved study on the usefulness of the VRI in maneging emphysema by placement of EBVs.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: VRI could become a cheap, non-invasive and radiation free method for managing emphysema by endoscopic placement of valves and other devices.
DISCLOSURE: Heinrich Becker, None.