The endoscopically measured effects of airway maneuvers and the lateral position on airway patency in anesthetized children with adenotonsillar hypertrophy

Anesth Analg. 2005 Apr;100(4):949-952. doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000148126.53015.F9.


Obstruction of the upper airway is a major challenge for anesthesiologists administering general anesthesia in spontaneously breathing children with adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Lateral positioning is a simple treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. In this study, we examined the effects of body position shifting and common airway maneuvers such as chin lift and jaw thrust on airway patency (stridor score and upper airway dimensions by endoscopy) in anesthetized children scheduled for adenotonsillectomy. Eighteen children aged 1-11 yr were anesthetized with sevoflurane. During spontaneous breathing with 5% sevoflurane and 100% oxygen, upper airway dimensions and stridor score were recorded. After baseline recording, chin lift and jaw thrust were performed in both the supine and the lateral decubitus position. Chin lift, jaw thrust, and lateral position increased the airway dimensions and improved the stridor score. Moreover, lateral positioning enhanced the effects of these airway maneuvers on airway patency. We concluded that lateral positioning combined with airway maneuvers provided better airway patency for anesthetized children with adenotonsillar hypertrophy.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Adenoids / pathology*
  • Adenoids / surgery*
  • Airway Obstruction / pathology
  • Anesthesia*
  • Bronchoscopy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Palatine Tonsil / pathology*
  • Palatine Tonsil / surgery*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Respiratory System / anatomy & histology*
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Tonsillitis / surgery*