[About laryngeal mask: is the lowest price material the better cost-efficacy choice?]

Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2014 Sep-Oct;33(9-10):508-13. doi: 10.1016/j.annfar.2014.06.007. Epub 2014 Aug 19.
[Article in French]


Objective: The main goal of this study was to achieve a medico-economic comparison between four disposable laryngeal masks (LM) (LMA-Unique™, Ambu AuraOnce™, I-Gel™ and LMA-Suprême™).

Study design: A prospective, randomized, monocentre study.

Material and methods: In a center, using routinely LMA-Unique masks, scheduled breast surgery patients were allocated into four groups according to the LM model. After the induction, the modalities of use were collected, as well as the intraoperative events that required additional anesthetic equipment. The real cost of each model was calculated (cost of the mask+extra cost related to complications). Using the LMA-Unique as a reference, we performed a cost-efficacy analysis. We realized a cost-efficiency analysis putting in parallel the impact on the cost and the incidence of the events.

Results: A total of 178 patients were included. According to the cost-efficacy analysis, the dominant model was the Ambu AuraOnce™ (Δreal cost: -34.2%, Δevents: -30.6%). The LMA-Unique™ was dominated because of a high morbidity rate. The I-Gel™ and LMA-Suprême™ models were more efficient but more expensive (Δreal cost: +16% and +22.5% respectively). To compensate for additional costs, it would be necessary to apply a price reduction of at least 50%.

Conclusions: Despite their better efficiency and safety, the latest generation laryngeal masks are still expensive in spite of a low rate of complication. These results do not take into account very rare and severe complications not met in this study in the limited size; then the economic and medical impact can influence the choice beyond the simple analysis cost-efficiency.

Keywords: Airway; Cost-efficacy analysis; Laryngeal mask; Masque laryngé; Medico-economics; Voies aériennes; Étude coût-efficacité; Étude médico-économique.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, Inhalation / instrumentation
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Disposable Equipment / economics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Laryngeal Masks / adverse effects
  • Laryngeal Masks / economics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies