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Perioperative management for placement of tracheobronchial stents

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Tracheobronchial stenting was performed under general anesthesia, with (six patients) or without (two patients) muscle relaxant, in eight patients suffering from carcinoma. All patients had presented preoperatively with dyspnea, exhibiting Hugh-Jones grade 4 or 5. Three patients had been mechanically ventilated before the procedure. The procedure was performed under general anesthesia with flexible bronchoscopic guidance. Stent placement was performed either through an orotracheal tube (four patients) or through a transtracheal tube (two patients) in those who had no upper tracheal stenosis, while it was performed through a laryngeal mask airway in two patients with upper tracheal stenosis. During the procedure, arterial hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SpO2) decreased in all patients, despite fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2) being maintained at 1.0. Except for two patients, one of whom developed superior vena cava syndrome and one, tension pneumothorax after stent placement, there were no complications resulting from stent placement. Six patients were weaned from mechanical ventilation (0–24 days after the procedure). Two of the three patients who had been on mechanical ventilation preoperatively could not be weaned. Stent insertion is an effective treatment for tracheobronchial stenosis, but its indications in patients with malignancy who have been mechanically ventilated prior to stenting should further be evaluated.

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Matsuda, N., Matsumoto, S., Nishimura, T. et al. Perioperative management for placement of tracheobronchial stents. J Anesth 20, 113–117 (2006).

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