This study aimed to find other methods of blind insertion of Arndt endobronchial blocker (AEB) for lung isolation when a fiberoptic bronchoscope (FOB) is unavailable.
We compared the effectiveness and safety of 3 insertion techniques of AEB: Gum elastic bougie (GEB)-, bougie combined with cricoid displacing (BCD)-, and fiberoptic bronchoscope (FOB)-guided insertion. Seventy-eight patients undergoing esophageal procedure and requiring left thoracotomy were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: GEB group, BCD group, and FOB group. We recorded the successful placement of AEBs at first attempt, placement time, malposition of AEBs in supine and lateral decubitus position, the bronchus injury score, and other complications.
The successful placement of AEB for the first attempt was 22/26, 25/26, and 26/26 patients in GEB, BCD, and FOB groups, respectively. The placement times in GEB and BCD groups were longer than those in the FOB group (P < 0.05). AEB malposition occurred in 1/26, 2/26, 1/26 patients after lateral decubitus position, and AEBs were repositioned in 5/26, 3/26, 1/26 patients by FOB due to poor lung isolation in GEB, BCD, and FOB groups, respectively. There was no difference for the bronchus injury scores and other complications among 3 groups (P > 0.05).
Bougie and cricoid displacing-guided blind insertion of AEB seems to be a novel method, which is an effective and safe alternative when FOB was unavailable.