Endobronchial Valve Treatment Does Not Cause Significant Nickel Deposition in Lung Tissue

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Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction using endobronchial valves (EBVs) is a treatment option for patients with severe emphysema. These EBVs are made out of a nitinol mesh covered by a silicone layer. Nitinol is an alloy of nickel and titanium and is commonly used in implantable medical devices because of its biocompatibility and memory-shape properties. However, there are some concerns that nickel ions can be released from nitinol-containing devices which might cause adverse health effects, especially in patients with a known nickel hypersensitivity. In vitro, it was found that EBV release significant amounts of nickel in the first hours. Our aim was to assess the nickel concentration in lung tissue from a patient who previously underwent EBV treatment but, due to treatment failure, underwent lung volume reduction surgery and to compare this to a reference sample. We found no significant difference in the median nickel concentration between the EBV-treated patient and the non-EBV-treated patient (0.270 vs. 0.328 μg/g, respectively, p = 0.693) and these concentrations were also comparable to previously published nickel concentrations in human lung tissue samples not having any medically implanted devices in the lung. Our results suggest that there is no significant long-term nickel deposition in lung tissue after EBV treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454–457
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Early online date10-May-2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2023

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