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A randomised controlled trial comparing fibreoptic-guided tracheal intubation through two supraglottic devices: Ambu® AuraGain™ laryngeal mask and LMA® Fastrach™

G Preece, I Ng, K Lee, P Mezzavia, R Krieser, D L Williams, O Stewart, R Segal
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care 2018, 46 (5): 474-479
The Ambu®AuraGain™ laryngeal mask (LM) (Ambu A/S, Ballerup, Denmark) is one of the few readily available second-generation supraglottic airway devices (SADs) that offer a conduit for fibreoptic-guided endotracheal intubation. We aimed to compare fibreoptic intubation through this device with the LMA® (laryngeal mask airway) Fastrach™ (Teleflex Medical, Co. Westmeath, Ireland), which has been a recommended dedicated rescue device for the management of the unanticipated difficult airway. This randomised controlled trial compared a previously described fibreoptic score in 116 patients with no known airway pathology, who had asleep fibreoptic endotracheal intubation via either the AuraGain LM or the LMA Fastrach. Time, ease and success rate of SAD and endotracheal tube (ETT) insertion and complications were recorded. The AuraGain LM demonstrated better laryngeal alignment with 29 out of 59 patients in the AuraGain LM (AG) group having a Grade 4 view (only vocal cords visible), compared to 20 out of 54 patients in the LMA Fastrach (FT) group (<i>P</i>=0.003). It allowed significantly quicker and easier ETT intubation when used as a conduit. The AuraGain LM was also quicker to insert compared to the Fastrach LMA. Similar rates of minor complications, such as sore throat and dysphonia occurred in both groups. Our study indicates that when used in patients with complete muscle relaxation and no known airway pathology, the AuraGain LM achieves better laryngeal alignment and quicker, easier and more successful fibreoptic-guided ETT intubation than the Fastrach LMA.


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