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[Right bronchial intubation using a left-sided double-lumen tube in a patient with situs inversus]

Masahiko Bougaki, Ryo Orii, Yoshitsugu Yamada
Masui. the Japanese Journal of Anesthesiology 2007, 56 (12): 1411-3
18078097
A 74-year-old man was scheduled for resection of a pulmonary tumor in the left upper lobe. He had asymptomatic complete situs inversus, and therefore his left lung had three lobes whereas his right lung had two. Since the tumor had been growing through the left upper bronchus into the left main bronchus, it seemed that the use of a bronchial blocker in the left bronchus should be avoided. A 37-Fr left-sided double-lumen tube was rotated in the opposite direction (clockwise) and advanced easily into the right (anatomically left) main bronchus under fiberoptic guidance. One lung ventilation during the operation was performed successfully and there was no postoperative airway complication. Several ways of achieving one lung ventilation in patients with situs inversus are discussed in this report. The use of a bronchial blocker should be considered first-choice, but sometimes its use is inappropriate as in this case. Commercially available double-lumen tubes are not intended for use in cases of situs inversus. If a double-lumen tube is desired, intentional right bronchial insertion of a left-sided double-lumen tube seems to be an easy and reliable option.

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