An Improved Apparatus for One-Lung Isolation


Summary of Invention

This invention provides a significantly improved apparatus for one-lung isolation anesthesia and surgery over those currently available. The new design for a double endobronchial catheter provides many advantages. The concept has been successfully applied in a small group of patients undergoing thoracic surgery.


  • Can be used for both right- and left-lung isolation.
  • Smaller than a double-lumen endotracheal tube and therefore, more easily placed where the airway is compromised (e.g., in the case of a paralyzed vocal cord, lower airway anatomical narrowing, or other difficult intubations).
  • Avoids the need to replace a double-lumen endotracheal tube with a standard single-lumen endotracheal tube after prolonged operations, which has the risk of gastric aspiration, airway and/or oral trauma, or loss of the airway.
  • Can be used in cases where selective lobar blockade (partial one-lung collapse) is desired (e.g., in patients with marginal pulmonary function reserve prior to surgery) and later converted to full collapse if necessary.
  • Less easily dislodged than some other devices currently in use during surgery.
  • Incorporates useful features of commercially available blockers, such as improved cuff design and suction availability.
  • May be adapted for use with small adults and children.

Area of Application

This new catheter can be used in major pulmonary resection, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, thoracoabdominal aortic reconstruction, extensive thoracolumbar spine fusion, and clamshell bilateral thoracotomy.

Stage of Development

Prototype successfully used on patients

Lead Inventor

David Amar, MD, Director, Thoracic Anesthesia, Memorial Sloan Kettering


Amar D, et al. (2001) Anesthesiology. 95:1528-30

Contact Information

Imke Ehlers, PhD, CLP
Senior Licensing Manager
Tel: 646-888-1074

Stage of Development