Initial anatomic investigations of the I-gel airway: a novel supraglottic airway without inflatable cuff

Anaesthesia. 2005 Oct;60(10):1022-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2005.04258.x.


The I-gel airway is a novel supraglottic airway that uses an anatomically designed mask made of a gel-like thermoplastic elastomer. We studied the positioning and mechanics of this new device in 65 non-embalmed cadavers with 73 endoscopies (eight had repeat insertion), 16 neck dissections, and six neck radiographs. A full view of the glottis (percentage of glottic opening score 100%) occurred in 44/73 insertions, whereas only 3/73 insertions had epiglottis-only views. Including the eight repeat insertions with a different size, a glottic opening score of > 50% was obtained in all 65 cadavers. The mean percentage of glottic opening score for the 73 insertions was 82% (95% confidence interval 75-89%). In each of the neck dissections and radiographs the bowl of the device covered the laryngeal inlet. We found that the I-gel effectively conformed to the perilaryngeal anatomy despite the lack of an inflatable cuff and it consistently achieved proper positioning for supraglottic ventilation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Epiglottis / anatomy & histology
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Laryngeal Masks*
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Larynx / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Neck / anatomy & histology
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging
  • Neck Dissection
  • Polyethylenes
  • Polystyrenes
  • Radiography


  • Polyethylenes
  • Polystyrenes
  • styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene-block copolymer