Background: Recently, indirect videolaryngoscopes have become increasingly important devices in difficult airway management. The aim of the present study was to investigate laryngoscopic view and intubation success using the new C-MAC® D-Blade in comparison to the established GlideScope® videolaryngoscope and conventional direct laryngoscopy in a randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Ninety-six adult patients with expected difficult airways undergoing elective ear, nose and throat surgery (ENT) requiring general anesthesia were investigated. Repeated laryngoscopy was performed using a conventional direct Macintosh laryngoscope (DL), C-MAC D-Blade (DB) and GlideScope (GS) in a randomized sequence before patients were intubated with the last device used.
Results: Both videolaryngoscopes showed significantly better C/L (Cormack-Lehane) classes than DL. Insufficient laryngoscopic view, defined as C/L ≥ III, was experienced in 18 patients (19.2%) with DL, in two patients with GS (2.1%) and in none with DB (0%). Time to best achievable laryngoscopic view did not differ between devices. Intubation time was significantly longer with both videolaryngoscopes (Median [Range] DB: 18 [8-33] s, and GS: 19 [9-34] s) than with DL (11 [5-26] s). However, intubation success was 100% for both DB and GS, whereas four patients could not be intubated using conventional direct laryngoscopy.
Conclusion: Compared to direct Macintosh laryngoscopy, both C-MAC® D-Blade and GlideScope® comparably resulted in an improved view of the glottic opening with successful tracheal intubation in all patients.