Left-molar Approach Improves the Laryngeal View in Patients with Difficult Laryngoscopy


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Abstract

BackgroundThe molar approach of laryngoscopy is reported to improve glottic view in sporadic cases of difficult laryngoscopy. The authors studied the effect of molar approaches and optimal external laryngeal manipulation (OELM) using the Macintosh blade.MethodsA series of 1,015 adult patients who underwent general anesthesia and tracheal intubation was studied. Laryngoscopy was carried out using a Macintosh no. 3 or 4 standard blade. Three consecutive trials of direct laryngoscopy using the midline and left- and right-molar approaches were carried out under full muscle relaxation with optimal head and neck positioning. The best glottic views were recorded for each approach with and without OELM.ResultsDifficult laryngoscopy with a midline approach accounted for 6.5% (66 cases) before OELM and 1.97% (20 cases) after OELM. A left-molar approach with OELM further reduced difficult laryngoscopy to seven cases (P < 0.001 vs. midline approach with OELM); a right-molar approach with OELM reduced difficult laryngoscopy to 18 cases (P = 0.48).ConclusionsThe left-molar approach with OELM improves the laryngeal view in patients with difficult laryngoscopy.

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