As regarded by the medical literature, emphysema is a magistral disease that crowns the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease tree. Basically, emphysema impedes the normal airflow within the lung. Artificial valves could help patients with emphysema as they are a part of the standard treatment of this disease.
However, this treatment that involves the implantation of one-way valves in the patient’s lungs is, most of the time, two-folded. Meaning that, there is a high risk of the patients rejecting the artificial valves. Moreover, it yes remains unclear if the valves are actually capable of helping the patient or extending his life.
Now, in the light of recent criticism concerning the actual use of these valves, a new study was drafted in order to ascertain the feasibility of this project. The study itself was made by a team of Dutch scientist.
The team of researchers has discovered that in order for the implant to yield results, the physicians must be able to select their patients with more care. They have thus proved that the implant ca be used in order to ameliorate a patient’s condition.
As to the disease itself, as mentioned, emphysema is a part of the chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. In the case of emphysema, the airflow inside the lung is obstructed. This phenomenon usually takes place a result of the alveoli (air sacks inside the lung) being damaged. Subsequently, with the airflow being obstructed inside the lung, none of the organs are getting enough oxygen.
The most common symptoms associated with this kind of disease are shortness of breath and chronic coughing. According to the statistics, the main culprit in the case of emphysema is smoking. As the disease rages on, the air sacks inside your lungs begin to cluster, forming a grape-like formation. Eventually, the alveoli’s outer wall will weaken and then break, leaving behind a large air gap.
In light of this disease, over the years, scientists have developed artificial valves which are capable of regulating the internal airflow. Unfortunately, the valves do have their limitation, as there are one-way only, meaning that they were designed to get the air out and prevent further air into re-entering the pockets. Sadly, in quite a lot of cases, the air managed somehow to insinuate inside the pocket, thus worsening the patient’s conditions.
But the study wanted to demonstrate that a proper screening of the patients can have an overwhelming contribution when in terms of successful recovery. In order to test out their theories, the Dutch scientists chose 68 candidates for their trial. All of them were over the age of 59 years old and all of them displayed signs consistent with emphysema. The patients had previously received valves and they were undergoing specific treatment.
According to the results of the study, approximately 75 percent of the patients that received these artificial valves saw an improvement. Moreover, these patients were even able to breath better, and they were even capable of walking for a longer time.