Use of the Rapiscope vs chest auscultation for detection of accidental bronchial intubation in non-obese patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Tiberiu Ezri*, Vadim Khazin, Peter Szmuk, Benjamin Medalion, Pinhas Shechter, Israel Priel, Mordechai Loberboim, Avi A. Weinbroum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Study Objective: Main stem bronchial intubation is not always detected by routine means and may occur more frequently during laparoscopic procedures. Tracheal tube positional changes in non-obese patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy were detected by either the Rapiscope (Cook Critical Care, Bloomington, Ind) or chest auscultation. Design: Prospective, double-blind, crossover study. Setting: University hospital. Patients: Forty non-obese patients (BMI <28 kg•m-2), aged 18 to 80 years, American Society of Anesthesiologists risk class I-III, who underwent elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy were enrolled in this double-blind, prospective study. Interventions: After endotracheal intubation by one anesthesiologist, two other anesthesiologists assessed the tracheal tube's positioning by either the Rapiscope or chest auscultation; the results of one anesthesiologist's measurement were concealed from the other. Measurements: Assessments of the endotracheal tube tip's position were performed after intubation, head-down, and head-up positioning, after maximal abdominal insufflation and before extubation. At the same time points, Spo2, ETco2, and peak inspiratory pressures were also recorded. Main Results: Postintubation Rapiscope assessment revealed normal tracheal positioning of the tube's tip in all patients. Changes in tube's position were subsequently detected by the Rapiscope in 16 patients. In 8 cases, the tip moved endobronchially. Half of the endobronchial intubations occurred after maximal abdominal insufflation and the other half after changing the table position from neutral to 30° head-down. Chest auscultation detected bronchial intubation in two cases only (P = .01). There were 4 additional events of downward movements and 4 events of cephalad migration of the tube's tip identified by the Rapiscope only. ETco2, Spo2, and peak inspiratory pressures did not change in patients who did experience bronchial intubation. Conclusion: The Rapiscope detected significantly more events of endobronchial intubation as compared with chest auscultation; it could be considered useful during procedures where tracheal tube movements are potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bronchial intubation
  • Chest auscultation
  • Detection
  • Rapiscope


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