• Acta Anaesthesiol Scand · Apr 2009

    Randomized Controlled Trial Comparative Study

    Comparison between intubation and the laryngeal mask airway in moderately obese adults.

    • M Zoremba, H Aust, L Eberhart, S Braunecker, and H Wulf.
    • Department of Anaesthesia, University of Marburg, Baldingerstrasse, Marburg, Germany. zoremba@med.uni-marburg.de
    • Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2009 Apr 1; 53 (4): 436-42.

    BackgroundObesity is a well-established risk factor for perioperative pulmonary complications. Anaesthetic drugs and the effect of obesity on respiratory mechanics are responsible for these pathophysiological changes, but tracheal intubation with muscle relaxation may also contribute. This study evaluates the influence of airway management, i.e. intubation vs. laryngeal mask airway (LMA), on postoperative lung volumes and arterial oxygen saturation in the early postoperative period.MethodsWe prospectively studied 134 moderately obese patients (BMI 30) undergoing minor peripheral surgery. They were randomly assigned to orotracheal intubation or LMA during general anaesthesia with mechanical ventilation. Premedication, general anaesthesia and respiratory settings were standardized. While breathing air, we measured arterial oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry. Inspiratory and expiratory lung function was measured preoperatively (baseline) and at 10 min, 0.5, 2 and 24 h after extubation, with the patient supine, in a 30 degrees head-up position. The two groups were compared using repeated-measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t-test analysis. Statistical significance was considered to be P<0.05.ResultsPostoperative pulmonary mechanical function was significantly reduced in both groups compared with preoperative values. However, within the first 24 h, lung function tests and oxygen saturation were significantly better in the LMA group (P<0.001; ANOVA).ConclusionsIn moderately obese patients undergoing minor surgery, use of the LMA may be preferable to orotracheal intubation with respect to postoperative saturation and lung function.

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