Asystole following Reintubation during Suspension Laryngoscopy

Sheryl H Glassman, Michael S Green, Melissa Brodsky
Case Reports in Anesthesiology 2012, 2012: 916306
Transient increase in heart rate and mean arterial pressure commonly occur during manipulation of the airway via direct laryngoscopy. This phenomenon is understood to be due to a sympathetic nervous system reflex causing an increase in plasma catecholamines. Rarely, severe bradycardia and possible asystole can occur following laryngoscopy. One previous report described asystole during suspension laryngoscopy after uneventful direct laryngoscopy. Here we report a case of asystole occurring at the time of reinsertion and cuff inflation of an endotracheal tube in a patient who had been hemodynamically stable during initial direct laryngoscopy and the ensuing suspension laryngoscopy. The asystole was immediately recognized and successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed with the patient returning to baseline sinus rhythm. Cardiac arrest following laryngoscopy is rare. This case highlights the importance of continued vigilance even after the initial manipulations of the airway by both direct laryngoscopy and suspension laryngoscopy are to be performed. Identifying patients who may benefit from premedication with a vagolytic drug may prevent adversity. Preoperative heart rate analysis can identify patients with strong vagal tone.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"