Safety and Adverse Events after Targeted Lung Denervation for Symptomatic Moderate to Severe COPD (AIRFLOW): A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial

AIRFLOW-2 Trial Study Group, Slebos, D-J., Shah, P. L., Herth, F. J., Pison, C., Schumann, C., Hübner, R-H., Bonta, P. I., Kessler, R., Gesierich, W., Darwiche, K., Lamprecht, B., Perez, T., Skowasch, D., Deslee, G., Marceau, A., Sciurba, F. C., Gosens, R., Hartman, J. E., Srikanthan, K., Duller, M. & Valipour, A., 15-Dec-2019, In : American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 200, 12, p. 1477-1486 10 p.

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  • AIRFLOW-2 Trial Study Group
  • Dirk-Jan Slebos
  • Pallav L Shah
  • Felix Jf Herth
  • Christophe Pison
  • Christian Schumann
  • Ralf-Harto Hübner
  • Peter I Bonta
  • Romain Kessler
  • Wolfgang Gesierich
  • Kaid Darwiche
  • Bernd Lamprecht
  • Thierry Perez
  • Dirk Skowasch
  • Gaetan Deslee
  • Armelle Marceau
  • Frank C Sciurba
  • Reinoud Gosens
  • Jorine E Hartman
  • Karthi Srikanthan
  • Marina Duller
  • Arschang Valipour

RATIONALE: Targeted Lung Denervation (TLD) is a bronchoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy for COPD, which durably disrupts parasympathetic pulmonary nerves to decrease airway resistance and mucous hyper-secretion.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety and impact of TLD on respiratory adverse events.

METHODS: A multicenter, randomized sham-bronchoscopy controlled, double-blinded trial, with symptomatic (mMRC≥2 or CAT≥10) COPD (FEV1 30-60%pred) patients. Primary endpoint was the rate of respiratory adverse events between 3 and 6.5 months post-randomization (defined as COPD exacerbation, tachypnea, wheezing, worsening bronchitis, worsening dyspnea, influenza, pneumonia, other respiratory infections, respiratory failure, or airway effects requiring therapeutic intervention). Blinding was maintained through 12.5 months.

RESULTS: Eighty-two patients (50% female, 63.7 years ±6.8, FEV1 41.6 ±7.3%pred, mMRC 2.2 ±0.7, and CAT 18.4 ±6.1) were 1:1 randomized. During the pre-defined 3-6.5m window, patients in the TLD group experienced a significantly lower number of respiratory adverse events compared to sham (32% vs. 71%, p=0.008; odds ratio 0.19, 95%CI [0.0750, 0.4923], p=0.0006). Between 0-12.5m, these were not different (83% vs. 90%, p=0.52). The time to first COPD exacerbation requiring hospitalization in the 0 to 12.5 month window was significantly lower in the TLD group compared to sham (hazard ratio 0.35; 95%CI [0.13, 0.99] p=0.039). There was no statistical difference in the time to first moderate or severe COPD exacerbation, patient reported symptoms, or other physiologic measures over the 12.5 months of follow up.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with symptomatic COPD treated with TLD combined with optimal pharmacotherapy had fewer study defined respiratory adverse events, including hospitalizations for COPD exacerbation. Clinical trial registration available at, ID: NCT02058459.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1486
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15-Dec-2019

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