Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Clinical Research

The place of ultrasonography in confirming the position of the laryngeal mask airway in pediatric patients “an observational study”

Sule Arican, Sevgi Pekcan, Gulcin Hacibeyoglu, Merve Yusifov, Sait Yuce, Sema Tuncer Uzun

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Background and objectives
Laryngeal mask airways are increasingly used as supraglottic devices during general anesthesia. Ultrasonography can provide a dynamic image simultaneous to placing the supraglottic airway device. In the current study, the incidence of suboptimal laryngeal mask airway position and replacement in children was evaluated using simultaneous ultrasonographic imaging.

A prospective observational study was conducted on 82 patients aged 3–15 years with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I or II. Patients under general anesthesia and with airway provided by a laryngeal mask airway were included. The position of the laryngeal mask airway was evaluated by ultrasonography on two planes. According to our scoring system, Grade I and Grade II were determined to indicate acceptable placement, while Grade III was determined to indicate unacceptable placement. Suboptimal laryngeal mask airway placement rates and the requirement of replacement were determined. Laryngeal mask airway placement optimized by ultrasonography was evaluated with both leak tests and a fiberoptic laryngoscope.

The average age of the patients was 6.27 ± 4.66 years. After evaluation with ultrasonography, 65 (79.3%) of the laryngeal mask airways were found to be optimally positioned, while the position of 13 (15.9%) had to be corrected, and 4 (4.9%) had to be replaced. There was a moderate positive correlation between the ultrasonographic evaluation and leak test evaluation (p <  0.001; r = 0.628). Relocation of the laryngeal mask airway was determined to be an independent risk factor affecting the development of complications (OR = 2.961; p =  0.046; 95% Cl 2.850–30.745).

The use of ultrasonography to verify and relocate laryngeal mask airway placement is noninvasive and effective.


Anesthesia;  Child;  Laryngeal mask airway;  Ultrasonography


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