The fissure: interlobar collateral ventilation and implications for endoscopic therapy in emphysema

Theodoor David Koster*, Dirk-Jan Slebos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
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In patients with severe emphysema, bronchoscopic lung volume reduction using one-way valves is a promising therapeutic option to improve lung function and quality of life. The goal of this treatment is to achieve a complete lobar atelectasis. In a significant proportion of patients, this atelectasis cannot be achieved due to interlobar collateral ventilation. This collateral ventilation is generated through incomplete lobar fissures. Therefore, only patients with complete fissures and no collateral ventilation can be selected for endobronchial therapy with one-way valves.

Incomplete fissures are very common and exhibit a great variation in anatomy. The reported prevalence is 17%-85% for the right major fissure, 19%-74% for the left major fissure, and 20%-90% for the minor fissure. There are several methods of measuring or predicting the presence of collateral ventilation, with computed tomography (CT)-fissure analysis and the Chartis measurement being the most important. CT-fissure analysis is an indirect method to measure the completeness of fissures as a surrogate for collateral ventilation. The Chartis system is an endobronchial method to directly measure the presence of collateral ventilation. Both methods have unique value, and the combination of both can accurately predict the treatment response to the bronchoscopic placement of endobronchial valves. This review provides an in-depth view of lung fissure and collateral ventilation to help understand its importance in selecting the appropriate patients for new emphysema treatments and thus avoid useless treatment in unsuitable patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-773
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Publication statusPublished - 13-Apr-2016


  • BLVR
  • ELVR
  • HRCT
  • one-way valve
  • bronchoscopy
  • collateral respiration
  • COPD
  • MDCT

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