A Comparison of the Laryngeal Tube with the Laryngeal Mask Airway During Routine Surgical Procedures

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The laryngeal mask airway (LMA; Laryngeal Mask Company, Henley-on-Thames, UK) is an established airway device, whereas the laryngeal tube (LT) is relatively new and therefore not as well investigated. Therefore, the purpose of the present prospective, randomized, controlled trial was to compare the LT with the LMA in routine clinical practice. In 50 patients undergoing general anesthesia for minor routine surgery, standardized anesthesia was induced and maintained with alfentanil and propofol. Patients were randomized to controlled ventilation (fraction of inspired oxygen = 0.4; fraction of inspired nitrous oxide = 0.6; tidal volume = 7 mL/kg; respiratory rate = 10 breaths/min) with the LT (n = 25) or the LMA (n = 25). Oxygen saturation was recorded before the induction of anesthesia and after the administration of oxygen. After 2 and 10 min of ventilation with the LT or LMA, oxygen saturation, end-expiratory carbon dioxide, expiratory tidal volume, and peak airway pressure were recorded. Capillary blood gas samples were taken before the induction of anesthesia and after 10 min of ventilation. Time of insertion and airway leak pressure of each device were measured. The time of insertion was comparable with both devices (LT versus LMA, median 21 s versus 19 s;P = not significant). Blood gas samples and ventilation variables revealed sufficient ventilation and oxygenation with either device (P = not significant). Peak airway pressure (LT, 17 ± 3 cm H2O; LMA, 15 ± 3 cm H2O) and airway leak pressure (LT, 36 ± 3 cm H2O; LMA, 22 ± 3 cm H2O) were significantly (P < 0.05) higher when using the LT compared with the LMA. In conclusion, using the LT and LMA resulted in comparable ventilation and oxygenation variables in this model of ASA physical status I and II patients undergoing routine surgical procedures. The newly developed LT may be a simple alternative device to secure the airway.

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