Videolaryngoscopy in the management of the difficult airway: A comparison with the Macintosh blade
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Background and objective: Several studies have shown that videolaryngoscopes can provide better laryngeal exposure than conventional laryngoscopy. These studies, however, did not exclusively focus on patients with an anticipated difficult intubation. The aim of the present study was to assess whether a videolaryngoscope would provide better laryngeal exposure than conventional laryngoscopy and therefore facilitate intubation in cases of difficult laryngoscopy. Methods One hundred and twelve patients with an estimated difficult intubation, scheduled to undergo surgical operations, requiring general anaesthesia and endotracheal intubation, were included in the study. Direct laryngoscopy with a Macintosh blade was performed, followed by videolaryngoscopy and intubation attempt(s). The laryngeal views obtained by each method were recorded according to the Cormack/Lehane scale. Results: The percentage of Cormack-Lehane I and II views obtained by conventional laryngoscopy rose from 63.4 to 90.2% (P<0.0005) with videolaryngoscopy, whereas Cormack-Lehane III and IV views declined from 36.6 to 9.8% (P<0.0005). Intubation was successful in 98.2% of the cases. Conclusion: In patients with an anticipated difficult airway, videolaryngoscopy significantly improved the laryngeal exposure thus facilitating endotracheal intubation.