Document Detail

Devices for lung isolation used by anesthesiologists with limited thoracic experience: comparison of double-lumen endotracheal tube, Univent torque control blocker, and Arndt wire-guided endobronchial blocker.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16436844     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Lung isolation is accomplished with a double-lumen tube or a bronchial blocker. Previous studies comparing lung isolation methods were performed by experienced anesthesiologists in thoracic anesthesia. Therefore, the results of these studies may not be relevant to the anesthesiologist with limited experience. This study compared the success rates of lung isolation devices among anesthesiologists with limited experience in thoracic anesthesia. METHODS: A prospective, randomized trial was designed to determine the success and time required for proper placement of the left-sided double-lumen tube (n = 22), the Univent tube (Vitaid Ltd., Lewiston, NY; n = 22), and the Arndt Blocker (Cook Critical Care, Bloomington, IN; n = 22). Anesthesiologists with less than two lung isolation cases per month were included (faculty n = 17 and senior residents n = 11). Variables recorded included (1) successful placement (as determined by an independent observer), (2) time of placement, and (3) the number of times the fiberoptic bronchoscope was used. RESULTS: Participants failed to place or position their assigned device in 25 of 66 patients (failure was 39% among faculty and 36% among senior residents). The failure rate did not differ among the three devices (P = 0.65). The median (25th-75th percentile) times to complete the placement procedures were as follows: (1) double-lumen tube: 6.1 min (4.6-9.5 min), (2) Univent tube: 6.7 min (4.9-8.8 min), and (3) Arndt Blocker: 8.6 min (5.8-17.5 min) (P = 0.45 comparing all devices). After device malposition was identified, it took 1 min or less for the investigating anesthesiologist to achieve optimal position. CONCLUSIONS: Anesthesiologists with limited experience in thoracic anesthesia frequently fail to successfully place lung isolation devices. Rapid successful device placement by an experienced anesthesiologist excluded any contribution of uniquely difficult anatomy. The nature of the malpositions suggests that the most critical factor in successful placement was the anesthesiologist's knowledge of endoscopic bronchial anatomy.
Javier H Campos; Ezra A Hallam; Timothy Van Natta; Kemp H Kernstine
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Anesthesiology     Volume:  104     ISSN:  0003-3022     ISO Abbreviation:  Anesthesiology     Publication Date:  2006 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-01-26     Completed Date:  2006-03-21     Revised Date:  2006-12-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1300217     Medline TA:  Anesthesiology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  261-6, discussion 5A     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Anesthesia, The University of Iowa-Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Clinical Competence
Endpoint Determination
Internship and Residency
Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*
Lung / physiology*
Middle Aged
Respiration, Artificial
Thoracic Surgical Procedures*
Treatment Failure
Comment In:
Anesthesiology. 2006 Nov;105(5):1060; author reply 1061-2   [PMID:  17065906 ]
Anesthesiology. 2006 Nov;105(5):1060-1; author reply 1061-2   [PMID:  17065905 ]

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