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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-79

Cervical spine motion during intubation: a fluoroscopic comparison between three intubation techniques

1 Department of Anaesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
2 Department of Radiodiagnosis, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Moutaz A Ghandour
22 Sharawy Street, Louran, Alexandria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/roaic.roaic_13_17

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Background Anaesthetists are responsible for the management of the airway in patients with unstable cervical spine (C spine). The optimal tracheal intubation technique for patients with potential C spine injury remains controversial. Videolaryngoscopes are used in an attempt to balance the need to limit cervical motion and overcome the difficulty of obtaining laryngeal views especially with manual in-line stabilization or cervical collar. Aim The current study aimed to compare the degree of C spine movement during intubation using different devices, Macintosh direct laryngoscope, C-MAC D-Blade videolaryngoscope and flexible intubation video endoscope (FIVE), in anaesthetized patients with normal airway and simulated C spine immobilization. Patients and methods This study was carried out on 45 adult patients scheduled for radiographic procedures under general anaesthesia with endotracheal intubation (ETT). Patients were randomly divided into three equal groups (15 patients each) using the sealed envelope technique: group M (Macintosh direct laryngoscope), group D (C-MAC D-Blade) and group F (FIVE). C spine movement was recorded with continuous fluoroscopy at 3–8 frames/s using a digital videofluoroscopy unit during both laryngoscopy and intubation to capture the maximal extent of C spine movement. The following parameters were evaluated: age, BMI, airway score, haemodynamic parameters, glottic view grade (Cormack and Lehane), time to successful ETT insertion and maximum segmental spine motion. Results The three studied groups were matching as regards age, BMI and airway score. Heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure observed after insertion of the ETT were statistically higher in group M compared with groups D and F. However, there were no significant differences in mean observed HR and mean arterial blood pressure between groups D and F at all time intervals. The Macintosh (group M) had significantly higher C and L grades than the two other devices in groups D and F. There was no significant difference in C and L grades attainted by the D-Blade in group D and the FIVE in group F. D-Blade had significantly shorter intubation time compared with Macintosh and FIVE. Macintosh direct laryngoscope resulted in significantly greater cervical movement at all measured motion segments compared with D-Blade and FIVE. Meanwhile, FIVE caused significantly less motion compared with D-Blade. Conclusion In patients with potential C spine injury and cervical immobilization, D-Blade results in less cervical motion, better glottic views and shorter intubation time compared with Macintosh laryngoscope. Flexible intubation scope causes the least cervical motion but with the longest intubation time.

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