Brodsky JB, Lemmens HJ. Tracheal width and left double-lumen tube size: a formula to estimate left-bronchial width

Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Journal of Clinical Anesthesia (Impact Factor: 1.19). 07/2005; 17(4):267-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2004.07.008
Source: PubMed


To determine which patient parameters best predict left bronchial width (LBW) when selecting the correct size double-lumen tube (DLT). If LBW is known, a DLT that will fit that bronchus can be chosen.
Prospective study.
University medical center.
Three hundred twenty-one consecutive patients scheduled for thoracic surgery and for whom there was a chest radiograph and for whom tracheal width (TW) and LBW could be measured.
Tracheal width and LBW were directly measured from the chest radiograph. Patient demographic data were recorded and then analyzed to see which factor(s) best predicted LBW. Parameters often used for DLT selection (age, sex, height, and weight) as well as TW were compared by univariate and multivariate statistical analysis to see which factor(s) most accurately predicted LBW.
There were weak but significant correlations between age and height and LBW in men, and height and LBW in women. Multivariate statistical analysis showed that, for both men and women, TW was the best predictor of LBW. Sex, height, and weight did not improve predictability over TW alone. The equation that best predicts LBW for both sexes is: LBWmm = (0.50)(TWmm) + 3.7 mm. This model explains 46% of the variance in LBW. As structures measured from a chest radiograph are magnified by 10%, the formula to predict LBW, which normalizes for this magnification factor, is: LBWmm = (0.45)(TWmm(CXR)) + 3.3 mm.
Direct airway measurement is the most accurate way to select an appropriate DLT. However, when direct measurement of LBW cannot be performed, estimating LBW from TW is a better predictor of LBW than either sex, height, or weight.

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    • "radiography or using an ultrasound are superior methods of selecting an appropriately sized double lumen tube [4] [5]. Traditional teaching has used height as the major correlation with correct sizing of the double lumen tube. "

    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Recent advances in surgical techniques for thoracic, cardiac, and oesophageal surgery have led to an increased use of lung separation techniques. Currently, double-lumen endotracheal tubes (DLT) and bronchial blockers (an Arndt wire-guided endobronchial blocker, a Cohen Flexitip endobronchial blocker, or the Fuji Uniblocker) are used. 1-3 Achieving successful lung separation relies on knowledge of the anatomical distances of the airway, flexible fibreoptic bronchoscopy techniques, and familiarity with left and right-sided DLTs and bronchial blockers. In general, lung isolation techniques are designed to: facilitate surgical exposure for cases involving the thoracic cavity, to prevent contamination of the contralateral lung in cases where pus or haemorrhage is present, and to establish airway continuity such as in a patient who presents with bronchopleural fistula and requires mechanical ventilation. Specific indications with bronchial blockers include: patients with difficult airways, patients with tracheostomy that require lung separation, selective lobar blockade, or whenever postoperative mechanical ventilation is contemplated. This review focuses on the current methods used to achieve lung separation. The objectives include: selecting the proper size device, intubation issues, optimal positioning with the use of a flexible fibreoptic bronchoscope, potential complications, and the management of lung isolation devices and what to do when they do not work.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014
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    ABSTRACT: This review is a clinical comparison between double-lumen endotracheal tubes and bronchial blockers to determine which device is considered the best for lung isolation. Double-lumen endotracheal tubes and bronchial blockers have been found to be clinically equivalent in terms of performance in providing lung collapse for patients with normal airways. In the last five years, however, numerous reports have indicated a preference for the use of bronchial blockers in patients with airway abnormalities. For nonthoracic anesthesiologists who have limited experience in thoracic anesthesia cases, none of the devices (double-lumen tubes or bronchial blockers) have been shown to provide any advantage while in use due to a high incidence of unrecognized malpositions. Overall, each device provides advantages depending upon the case, such as absolute lung separation with a double-lumen endotracheal tube or the use of a bronchial blocker in a difficult airway for a patient requiring lung isolation. Double-lumen endotracheal tubes and bronchial blockers should be part of the armamentarium of every anesthesiologist involved in lung isolation techniques and every device should be tailored to specific case needs.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2007 · Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology
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