Macintosh Blade Videolaryngoscopy Combined With Rigid Bonfils Intubation Endoscope Offers a Suitable Alternative for Patients With Difficult Airways

Anesth Analg. 2018 Mar;126(3):988-994. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002739.


Background: In the armamentarium of an anesthesiologist, videolaryngoscopy is a valuable addition to secure the airway. However, when the videolaryngoscope (VLS) offers no solution, few options remain. Earlier, we presented an intubation technique combining Macintosh blade VLS and Bonfils intubation endoscope (BIE) for a patient with a history of very difficult intubation. In the present study, we evaluated this technique to establish whether it is a valuable alternative.

Methods: In this single-blinded nonrandomized study, 38 patients with a history of difficult intubation or 1 or more predictors of difficult intubation, scoring a Cormack & Lehane (C&L) grade III or IV using Macintosh blade VLS, were included. Patients were intubated combining the VLS with the BIE. The C&L grade was scored 3 times during (1) direct laryngoscopy; (2) indirect videolaryngoscopy; and (3) using the combined technique (VLS + BIE). Afterward, 2 blinded anesthesiologists assessed the C&L grade using the pictures taken during the procedure.

Results: Data of 38 patients were analyzed. An improvement of the C&L grade with the combined technique occurred in 33 of 38 patients (86.8%; 95% confidence interval, 71.9%-95.6%). Reviewer 1 reported an improvement of the C&L grade with the combined technique in 37 of 38 patients. Reviewer 2 reported improvement in 33 and deterioration in 2 of the patients. No complications occurred.

Conclusions: The combined use of a VLS with Macintosh blade and BIE gives the anesthesiologist a valuable alternative intubation option in patients with extremely difficult airways.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Airway Management / instrumentation
  • Airway Management / methods*
  • Capsule Endoscopy / instrumentation
  • Capsule Endoscopy / methods*
  • Endoscopes*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Laryngoscopy / instrumentation
  • Laryngoscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method