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Anesth Analg. 2003 Nov;97(5):1266-74.

An update on bronchial blockers during lung separation techniques in adults.

Author information

  • 1Department of Anesthesia, University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1079, USA.

Erratum in

  • Anesth Analg. 2004 Jan;98(1):131.


Techniques for one-lung ventilation (OLV) can be accomplished in two ways: The first involves the use of a double-lumen endotracheal tube (DLT). The second involves blockade of a mainstem bronchus (bronchial blockers). Bronchial blockade technology is on the rise, and in some specific clinical situations (e.g., management of the difficult airway during OLV or selective lobar blockade) it can offer more as an alternative to achieve OLV in adults. Special emphasis on newer information for the use of Fogarty embolectomy catheter as a bronchial blocker, the torque control blocker Univent, and the wire-guided endobronchial blocker (Arndt blocker) is included. Also this review describes placement, positioning, complications, ventilation modalities, and airflow resistances of all three bronchial blockers. Finally, the bronchial blockers can be used in many cases that require OLV, taking into consideration that bronchial blockers require longer time for placement, assisted suction to expedite lung collapse, and the use of fiberoptic bronchoscopy. The current use of bronchial blockers, supported by scientific evidence, dictates that bronchial blockers should be available in any service that performs lung separation techniques.

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