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Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2013 Feb;26(1):6-12. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e32835bd0aa.

Anesthetic considerations for interventional pulmonary procedures.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.



To discuss the anesthetic considerations of various procedures now performed by the interventional pulmonologist. With recent technological advances, many of these procedures represent acceptable alternatives to the invasive surgical procedures. For example, the placement of endobronchial valves can substitute for lung reduction surgery and can greatly reduce the postoperative recovery period. However, many of these complex procedures require anesthesia services. The nature and indication for the procedure as well as the patient's overall health will have an impact on the anesthetic choice.


New studies have documented common complications from interventional pulmonology procedures and recent ways to avoid these complications have been suggested. Strategies to avoid obstruction, bleeding, pneumothorax and air embolism are discussed in this article. Potential benefits of high frequency jet ventilation in reducing airway pressures and, perhaps, barotraumas are cited. Novel interventional pulmonary procedures are described.


As the array of diagnostic and therapeutic pulmonary interventions is expanding, the types of anesthetic techniques and ventilatory modes are varying to fit the procedural requirements. Some pulmonary procedures are best accomplished in the lightly sedated patient, who is breathing spontaneously, whereas procedures that use the working channel of a rigid bronchoscope are better performed in the patient under general anesthesia and mechanical ventilation that often use jet ventilation to minimize respiratory movements.

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