The intubating laryngeal mask airway with and without fiberoptic guidance

H S Joo, D K Rose
Anesthesia and Analgesia 1999, 88 (3): 662-6

UNLABELLED: We conducted this feasibility study using the intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA) and a polyvinyl chloride tracheal tube to compare success rates, hemodynamic effects, and postoperative morbidity with two methods of tracheal intubation. After ethics approval and informed consent, 90 healthy ASA physical status I or II women with normal airways were enrolled in the randomized, controlled study. After a standardized inhaled anesthesia induction protocol, tracheal intubations using ILMA with fiberoptic guidance (ILMA-FOB) and ILMA inserted blindly without fiberoptic guidance (ILMA-Blind) were compared with the control group of direct laryngoscopy (laryngoscopy group). All 90 patients were successfully ventilated. For tracheal intubation, success rates were equal in all three groups (97%). Total intubation times were longer for the ILMA-FOB group (77 s versus 48.5 s for laryngoscopy and 53.5 s for ILMA-Blind). The laryngoscopy group had a larger increase in mean arterial blood pressure to tracheal intubation. There were no differences in postoperative sore throat or hoarseness among the groups. In conclusion, success rates are equally high for tracheal intubation using ILMA-Blind and ILMA-FOB techniques in women with normal airways.

IMPLICATIONS: The intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA) can be used as a primary airway for oxygenation and ventilation. Both methods of tracheal intubation using the ILMA were equally successful. Postoperative morbidity in the ILMA groups was similar to that in the laryngoscopy group. For women with normal airways, both the ILMA inserted blindly and the ILMA with fiberoptic guidance are suitable alternatives to laryngoscopy for tracheal intubation.

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