Use of the GlideScope video laryngoscope for intubation during ex utero intrapartum treatment in a fetus with a giant cyst of the 4th branchial cleft: A case report

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Introduction:In fetuses who are predicted to be at risk of catastrophic airway obstruction at delivery, the ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure is useful for securing the fetal airway while maintaining fetal oxygenation via placental circulation. Factors, including poor posture of the fetus and physician, narrow visual field, and issues of contamination in the aseptic surgical field, make fetal intubation during the EXIT procedure difficult. Herein, we report our experience of the usefulness of the GlideScope video laryngoscope (GVL) for intubation during the EXIT procedure.Symptoms and clinical findings:A 28-year-old woman presented with a fetus having a cystic neck mass diagnosed on prenatal ultrasound at 25 weeks of gestation. We planned the EXIT procedure in conjunction with cesarean delivery at 38 weeks of gestation, as the mass enlarged to 4.9 cm × 3.2 cm, protruded externally at the neck, and subsequently resulted in polyhydramnios.Therapeutic intervention and outcomes:After induction of anesthesia using intravenous thiopental (300 mg), adequate uterine relaxation was achieved with sevoflurane (2.0–3.0 vol%) combined with continuous intravenous infusion of nitroglycerin (0.5–1.0 μg/kg/min) for maintaining uteroplacental circulation. After hysterotomy, the head and right upper limb of the fetus were partially delivered, and fetal heart tones were monitored with a sterile Doppler probe. After oropharyngeal suctioning to improve the visual field, the fetus was intubated successfully using a sterile GVL by an anesthesiologist, and the passage of the endotracheal tube beyond the vocal cords was confirmed on the screen of the GVL system. Immediately after the fetal airway was definitely secured, the fetus was fully delivered with umbilical cord clamping. After delivery, nitroglycerine administration was ceased and sevoflurane administration was reduced to 0.5 minimum alveolar concentration. Additionally, oxytocin (10 units) and carbetocin (100 μg) were administered for recovery of uterine contraction. Cesarean delivery was successfully performed without any problems, and the neonate successfully underwent surgery for removal of the neck mass under general anesthesia on the 7th day after delivery. The neonate is developing normally.Conclusion:The GVL approach may be a useful noninvasive approach for establishing a clear fetal airway during the EXIT procedure.

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