Predicting Difficult Endotracheal Intubation in Surgical Patients Scheduled for General Anesthesia: A Prospective Blind Study

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We conducted a prospective, blind study to determine whether a difficult endotracheal intubation could be predicted preoperatively by evaluation of one or more anatomic features of the head.In 471 adults presenting for elective surgery, the size of the tongue relative to the oral cavity was assessed according to the Mallampati classification (oropharyngeal class), and the distance between the chin and thyroid cartilage (thyromental distance) and the angle at full extension of the head (head extension) were measured. At laryngoscopy, the difficulty in visualizing the larynx was determined by a different observer. Assignment to oropharyngeal Class 3, a thyromental distance (Anesth Analg 1995;81:254-8)

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