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Surg Radiol Anat. 2015 Sep;37(7):841-4. doi: 10.1007/s00276-014-1411-6. Epub 2014 Dec 28.

Movements of the double-lumen endotracheal tube due to lateral position with head rotation and tube fixation: a Thiel-embalmed cadaver study.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, South-1 West-16, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, 060-8543, Japan,



Following successful double-lumen endotracheal tube (DLT) insertion for pulmonary surgery, the body position of a patient is changed from supine to lateral. This change occasionally leads to the malposition of the DLT and difficulty in differential lung ventilation.


In this study, we investigated movements of the DLT induced by change in body position from supine to lateral, using Thiel-embalmed cadavers. Thiel-embalmed cadavers retain full flexibility of the body and preservation of natural colours, using novel preservation techniques. After the tip of the DLT was directly fixed with forceps at the appropriate position in the bronchus, the DLT depth was measured at the lip in supine and lateral positions.


The depth of DLT insertion measured at the lip in right (25.2 ± 0.3 cm; mean ± SEM) and left (25.1 ± 0.3 cm) lateral positions was significantly increased compared to the supine position (24.7 ± 0.3 cm).


We recommend that the depth of DLT insertion should be advanced by approximately 0.5 cm from the best position, before changing from the supine to lateral position.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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