Emphysema – one of the forms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – is a disease that progresses over time and involves the gradual damage of lung tissue, specifically destruction of the alveoli (tiny air sacs).

This results in trapped air that can cause hyperinflation of the lungs and significant breathing challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3.5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with emphysema.2

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of emphysema are not often recognized until later stages of the disease. What may be confused with “just getting older,” such as shortness of breath or a pause on normal activities, may be symptoms of lung disease. If you experience any of these symptoms or are exposed to the various risk factors, you should talk to your doctor.3

Frequent coughing or wheezing

Frequent coughing
or wheezing

A cough that produces a lot of mucus

A cough that produces
a lot of mucus

Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity

Shortness of breath,
especially with physical activity

A whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe

A whistling or squeaky
sound when you breathe

Tightness in your chest

Tightness in your chest

What Causes Emphysema?

While smoking is considered the number one cause of emphysema, long-term exposure to airborne irritants, such as air pollution, can cause lung tissue to break down over time. Genetics can also play a role in raising your risk for emphysema.3



History of respiratory infections

History of
respiratory infections

Air Pollutants

Air Pollutants

Genetics (Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency)

Genetics (Alpha-1
Antitrypsin deficiency)

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic condition and can often result in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and severe emphysema symptoms in patients of any age.

The Spiration® Valve has been studied and shown to benefit these patients. Spiration Valve placement resulted in improvements in lung function, quality of life, and shortness of breath.1

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency


We have seen significant improvements in quality of life for patients with Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency that undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction with the Spiration Valve System.”

– Jennifer W. Toth, MD & Michael F. Reed, MD


Potential complications which may be associated with bronchoscopy and/or the Spiration Valve System may include, but are not limited to, pneumothorax, worsening of COPD symptoms, pneumonia, dyspnea and in rare cases, death. Prior to using the Spiration Valve System, please review the full list of prescriptive information at https://svs.olympusamerica.com/prescriptive-information for additional information on indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions and potential complications.

Spiration valves are one-way endobronchial valves indicated for adult patients with shortness of breath and hyperinflation associated with severe emphysema in regions of the lung that have evidence of low collateral ventilation.

1.Criner GJ, Delage A, Voelker K, et al. Improving Lung Function in Severe Heterogenous Emphysema with the Spiration Valve System (EMPROVE). A Multicenter, Open-Label Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019;200(11):1354-62.

2. Centers for Disease Control. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Basics About COPD. https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/copd/index.html. Accessed December 3, 2018.

3. Hoffman, Matthew MD. “The Stages of Emphysema and What to Expect”. WebMD. Medically Reviewed by Paul Boyce, MD. March 18, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/emphysema-stages-and-prognosis 

Patient Stories

Patient Stories

Hear how patients who undergo the Spiration Valve System procedure have the potential to receive life-changing results.

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