A retrospective evaluation of the use of video-capable double-lumen endotracheal tubes in thoracic surgery

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2014 Aug;28(4):870-2. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2013.11.011. Epub 2014 Mar 20.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the use of a video double-lumen tube reduced the need for fiberoptic bronchoscopy for (1) verification of initial tube placement and for (2) reverification of correct placement after repositioning for thoracotomy.

Design: A single-center retrospective study.

Setting: Thoracic surgery in a medical university hospital.

Participants & interventions: After institutional review board approval, 29 patients who underwent thoracic surgical procedures using video double-lumen tubes were included in the final retrospective analysis.

Measurements and main results: For 27 (93.2%) patients, the use of fiberoptic bronchoscopy was not needed either for initial placement or for verification of correct video double-lumen tube placement upon final positioning of the patient. However, for two patients, fiberoptic bronchoscopy was needed: for (1) one patient with severe left mainstem bronchus distortion as a result of a large left upper lobe tumor, and (2) a second patient with secretions that were difficult to clear.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the video double-lumen tube requires significantly less (6.8%) fiberoptic use for both initial placement and verification of final position, in stark contrast to standard practice in which bronchoscopy is always used to verify final positioning of the double-lumen tube. As opposed to intermittent bronchoscopy, the continuous visualization offered by an embedded camera may confer an added measure of safety.

Keywords: double-lumen tubes; fiberoptic bronchoscopy; fiberoptics; one-lung ventilation; thoracic anesthesia; thoracic surgery; video-double-lumen endobronchial tube.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bronchoscopy / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Fiber Optic Technology
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures*
  • Video Recording / instrumentation*