Upper airway ultrasound is a valuable, non-invasive, simple, and portable point of care ultrasound (POCUS) for evaluation of airway management even in anatomy distorted by pathology or trauma. Ultrasound enables us to identify important sonoanatomy of the upper airway such as thyroid cartilage, epiglottis, cricoid cartilage, cricothyroid membrane, tracheal cartilages, and esophagus. Understanding this applied sonoanatomy facilitates clinician to use ultrasound in assessment of airway anatomy for difficult intubation, ETT and LMA placement and depth, assessment of airway size, ultrasound-guided invasive procedures such as percutaneous needle cricothyroidotomy and tracheostomy, prediction of postextubation stridor and left double-lumen bronchial tube size, and detecting upper airway pathologies. Widespread POCUS awareness, better technological advancements, portability, and availability of ultrasound in most critical areas facilitate upper airway ultrasound to become the potential first-line non-invasive airway assessment tool in the future.
Keywords: Airway management; Point of care ultrasound; Upper airway ultrasound.