COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

A prospective, randomized, double-blind study comparing the efficacy of topical anesthetics in nasal endoscopy

Gabriel C Gaviola, Viola Chen, Stanley H Chia
Laryngoscope 2013, 123 (4): 852-8
23404424

INTRODUCTION: Transnasal endoscopy is commonly performed in an outpatient otolaryngology setting. Patients are typically administered a topical anesthetic and decongestant prior to this procedure to alleviate discomfort and improve visualization. There is no consensus on which topical anesthetic is most effective in optimizing patient experience during the procedure.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there is a difference in the efficacy between atomized 2% tetracaine and 4% lidocaine as a topical anesthetic prior to transnasal endoscopy.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, double-blind study.

METHODS: A total of 99 patients received oxymetazoline and were randomized to receive either 2% tetracaine or 4% lidocaine prior to transnasal endoscopy. Immediately following the procedure, participants completed a survey assessing level of discomfort and other adverse symptoms pertaining to the procedure using a 10-point visual analog scale (VAS).

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in VAS scores between the lidocaine and tetracaine groups. There were also no significant differences between genders in overall VAS scores and in the lidocaine and tetracaine subgroups. Older patients demonstrated significantly less discomfort or a sensation of bad taste overall. In contrast to patients receiving lidocaine, older patients receiving tetracaine experienced significantly less overall pain and discomfort, unpleasant taste, and dyspnea.

CONCLUSION: In patients undergoing transnasal endoscopy, use of either 2% tetracaine or 4% lidocaine has similar effect. Tetracaine may be a better choice in older patients, however.

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