Effective use of bronchial blockers in lung isolation surgery: An analysis of 130 cases

Department of Anesthesiology, Ochsner Clinic Foundation.
Ochsner Journal 09/2013; 13(3):389-93.
Source: PubMed


One-lung ventilation (OLV) is necessary for selected surgical settings and medical conditions. Different methods have been described and used to isolate 1 lung, including the double-lumen endotracheal tube (DLT) and a variety of bronchial blockers (BBs). This selection is often based on the preferences and experiences of the anesthesiologist and surgeon. Complications associated with OLV isolation tubes have been previously described, but complications specifically associated with the Cohen BB (CBB) (Cook Medical, Bloomington, IN) have not been investigated. The purpose of this retrospective review was to determine the incidence of vocal cord injury, tracheobronchial injury, and hoarseness in adult patients who underwent OLV with the CBB.
We reviewed electronic anesthesia records, operative dictation, and inpatient progress notes to collect information about vocal cord injury, bronchial injury, hoarseness, and sore throat for adults who underwent surgical and diagnostic procedures requiring OLV. Secondary endpoints were types of surgical procedures, degree of difficulty with orotracheal intubation, ability of the patient to tolerate extubation in the operating room, and whether the thoracic surgeon deemed the lung separation adequate. P<0.05 was considered significant.
Of 130 patients, 113 underwent OLV with a CBB, and 17 patients underwent OLV with a DLT. The thoracic surgeon deemed the lung isolation adequate in all cases. Airway injury occurred in 2 patients with a CBB and none with a DLT (P=0.86). Both airway injuries were attributed to surgical technique. Two cases of postoperative hoarseness occurred in the CBB group (P=0.86). One injury was attributed to vagus nerve transection, and the other injury was diagnosed as vocal cord paralysis of unknown etiology. In 1 case, orotracheal intubation with a DLT was unsuccessful because of intubation difficulty and required conversion to a regular endotracheal tube and CBB for successful lung isolation.
This study demonstrates that the use of CBB can be successful in a wide variety of thoracic operations, has minimal complications, eliminates the need for tracheal tube exchange when postoperative mechanical ventilation is required, and effectively isolates the lungs of critically ill patients.

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    ABSTRACT: The use of an endobronchial blocker in conjunction with a supraglottic device in elective thoracic cases has never been studied. The aim of this study was to report the success rate and time to placement of the endobronchial blocker in anaesthetized patients with a laryngeal mask airway (LMA)-ProSealâ„¢ in place. This was a single-center, prospective, descriptive pilot study that enrolled 30 patients aged 18-75 years, with ASA I-III, who underwent elective thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracoscopy. We collected data on time to placement of the endobronchial blocker into the selected bronchus, time consumed for final blocker positioning and inflation, lung deflation score at chest opening, and postoperative airway complications. One patient was excluded because of high peak airway pressure during LMA ventilation. The time required for blocker placement in the right main bronchus was shorter [mean 160 (78-480) s] compared with that for the left main bronchus [225 (117-420) s]. The blocker was successfully placed on the first attempt in 25 patients. Lung deflation score graded by the surgeon was 8/10 (median). Minor postoperative airway complications, such as sore throat (28.6 %) and hoarseness of voice (17.9 %), were reported. The use of LMA-ProSealâ„¢ in conjunction with the COOPDECH Endobronchial Blocker Tube may be considered an alternative one-lung ventilation technique in selected cases. However, success rates and time required for placement of the blocker seem dependent on the operator's skill. Although postoperative sore throat and hoarseness of voice were reported, these improved in 24 h.
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