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A Comparison of the Efficacy and Adverse Effects of Double-Lumen Endobronchial Tubes and Bronchial Blockers in Thoracic Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and adverse effects of using bronchial blockers (BBs) and double-lumen endobronchial tubes (DLTs).

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing BBs and DLTs.

SETTING: Hospital units undertaking thoracic surgery

PARTICIPANTS: Patients undergoing thoracic surgery requiring lung isolation.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A systematic literature search was conducted for RCTs comparing BBs and DLTs using Google Scholar, Ovid Medline, and Cochrane library databases up to October 2013. Inclusion criteria were RCTs comparing BBs and DLTs, intubation carried out by qualified anesthesiologists or trainee specialists, outcome measures relating to either efficacy or adverse effects. Studies that were inaccessible in English were excluded. Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effect meta-analysis of recurring outcome measures was performed using RevMan 5 software. The search produced 39 RCTs published between 1996 and 2013. DLTs were quicker to place (mean difference: 51 seconds, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 8-94 seconds; p = 0.02) and less likely to be incorrectly positioned (odds ratio [OR] 2.70; 95% CI 1.18-6.18, p = 0.02) than BBs. BBs were associated with fewer patients having a postoperative sore throat (OR 0.39, 95% CI: 0.23-0.68, p = 0.0009), less hoarseness (OR: 0.43,95%, CI 0.24-0.75, p = 0.003), and fewer airway injuries (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.21-0.75, p = 0.005) than DLTs.

CONCLUSION: While BBs are associated with a lower incidence of airway injury and a lower severity of injury, DLTs can be placed quicker and more reliably.

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