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Compliance and functional residual capacity after staple versus combined staple/holmium laser lung volume reduction surgery in a rabbit emphysema model



There is some evidence to suggest that laser exposure, when added to standard staple reduction techniques, may result in improved physiologic response to lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS). In this study, we compared physiologic responses of staple LVRS with combined staple/laser in a rabbit emphysema model.


Ninety-three New Zealand White rabbits underwent emphysema induction with aerosolized elastase 4 weeks before surgery and were killed 1 week after surgery. Treatment groups were bilateral moderate volume staple LVRS (< or =3 g, n = 39), combined moderate volume staple (< or =3 g)/holmium laser LVRS (n = 18), large-volume staple LVRS (> or =3 g, n = 27), or sham surgery (n = 9).


Decrease in postoperative static respiratory system compliance by combined moderate-volume staple/laser treatment (1.22 cc/cm H2O) was similar to large-volume staple resection (1.40 cc/cm H2O, p = 0.39), and superior to moderate staple resection (0.82 cc/cm H2O, p = 0.01) or sham surgery (0.09 cc/cm H2O, p = 0.0001). Functional residual capacity decrease was greater after combined moderate staple/laser resection (6.46 cc) than large-volume staple resection (4.52 cc, p = 0.33), moderate-volume staple resection (4.59 cc, p = 0.43), or sham surgery (4.10 cc, p = 0.29). Perioperative mortality was highest after laser/staple LVRS (22%, 4/18).


In this rabbit model, combined staple/ holmium laser reduction for emphysema results in significant improvement in compliance and trends toward improvement in functional residual capacity above staple reduction alone, but with higher mortality.

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