The modified Cormack-Lehane score for the grading of direct laryngoscopy: evaluation in the Asian population

L K D Koh, C E Kong, P C Ip-Yam
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care 2002, 30 (1): 48-51
The use of a modified Cormack-Lehane scoring system (MCLS) of laryngoscopic views, as previously introduced in the Western population, was investigated during direct laryngoscopy in the Asian population. We studied the distribution of the different grades of MCLS, the predictive factors and rate of difficult laryngoscopy, and the association with difficult intubation. Six hundred and five patients requiring tracheal intubation during general anaesthesia were prospectively studied. The optimal views during direct laryngoscopy were scored using the 5-grade MCLS system. The distribution of the laryngoscopy scores was 73.9% Grade 1 (full view of the vocal cords), 21.0% Grade 2A (partial view of the vocal cords), 3.3% Grade 2B (only the arytenoids and epiglottis seen), 1.6% Grade 3 (only epiglottis visible) and 0.2% Grade 4 (neither the epiglottis nor glottis seen). External laryngeal pressure was necessary in 45.3% of cases to optimize laryngoscopic views. Grade 2B was associated with significantly higher incidence of difficult intubation compared with Grade 2A (65% vs 13.4%). The rates of difficult laryngoscopy and intubation were 5.1% and 6.9% respectively. The Mallampati classification and thyromental distance were associated with low predictive value for difficult laryngoscopy. The MCLS better delineates the difficulty experienced during laryngoscopy than the original Cormack-Lehane grading

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