AB Background This is an update of a Cochrane Review first published in The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2008. Objectives The objective of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of intravenous versus inhalation anaesthesia for one-lung ventilation. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); The Cochrane Library (2012, Issue 11); MEDLINE (1966 to November 2012); EMBASE (1980 to November 2012); Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe em Ciencias da Saude (LILACS, 1982 to November 2012) and ISI web of Science (1945 to November 2012), reference lists of identified trials and bibliographies of published reviews. We also contacted researchers in the field. No language restrictions were applied. The date of the most recent search was 19 November 2012. The original search was performed in June 2006. Selection criteria We included randomized controlled trials and quasi-randomized controlled trials of intravenous (e.g. propofol) versus inhalation (e.g. isoflurane, sevoflurane, desflurane) anaesthesia for one-lung ventilation in both surgical and intensive care participants. We excluded studies of participants who had only one lung (i.e. pneumonectomy or congenital absence of one lung). Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information. Main results We included in this updated review 20 studies that enrolled 850 participants, all of which assessed surgical participants[FULLWIDTH HYPHEN-MINUS]no studies investigated one-lung ventilation performed outside the operating theatre. No evidence indicated that the drug used to maintain anaesthesia during one-lung ventilation affected participant outcomes. The methodological quality of the included studies was difficult to assess as it was reported poorly, so the predominant classification of bias was ‘unclear’. Authors’ conclusions Very little evidence from randomized controlled trials suggests differences in participant outcomes with anaesthesia maintained by intravenous versus inhalational anaesthesia during one-lung ventilation. If researchers believe that the type of drug used to maintain anaesthesia during one-lung ventilation is important, they should design randomized controlled trials with appropriate participant outcomes, rather than report temporary fluctuations in physiological variables.