We compared the placement of the laryngeal tube (LT) with the intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA) in 51 patients whose necks were stabilised by manual in-line traction. Following induction of anaesthesia and neuromuscular blockade, the LT and ILMA were inserted consecutively in a randomised, crossover design. Using pressure-controlled ventilation (20 cmH2O inspiratory pressure), we measured insertion attempts, time to establish positive-pressure ventilation, tidal volume, gastric insufflation, and minimum airway pressure at which gas leaked around the cuff. Data were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests; p < 0.05 was considered significant. Insertion was found to be more difficult with the LT (successful at first attempt in 16 patients) than with the ILMA (successful at first attempt in 42 patients, p < 0.0001). Time required for insertion was longer for the LT (28 [23-35] s, median [interquartile range]) than for the ILMA (20 [15-25] s, p = 0.0009). Tidal volume was less for the LT (440 [290-670] ml) than for the ILMA (630 [440-750] ml, p = 0.013). Minimum airway pressure at which gas leak occurred and incidence of gastric insufflation were similar with two devices. In patients whose necks were stabilised with manual in-line traction, insertion of the ILMA was easier and quicker than insertion of the LT and tidal volume was greater with the ILMA than the LT.
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