The intubating laryngeal mask. II: A preliminary clinical report of a new means of intubating the trachea

Br J Anaesth. 1997 Dec;79(6):704-9. doi: 10.1093/bja/79.6.704.


We have assessed the efficacy of a new laryngeal mask prototype, the intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA), as a ventilatory device and blind intubation guide. The ILMA consists of an anatomically curved, short, wide bore, stainless steel tube sheathed in silicone which is bonded to a laryngeal mask and a guiding handle. It has a single moveable aperture bar, a guiding ramp and can accommodate an 8 mm tracheal tube (TT). After induction of anaesthesia with propofol 2.5 mg kg-1 and fentanyl 2.5 micrograms kg-1, the device was inserted successfully at the first attempt in all 150 (100%) patients and adequate ventilation achieved in all, with minor adjustments required in four patients. Placement did not require movement of the head and neck or insertion of the fingers in the patient's mouth. Blind tracheal intubation using a straight silicone cuffed TT was attempted after administration of atracurium 0.5 mg kg-1. If resistance was felt during intubation, a sequence of adjusting manoeuvres was used based on the depth at which resistance occurred. Tracheal intubation was possible in 149 of 150 (99.3%) patients. In 75 (50%) patients no resistance was encountered and the trachea was intubated at the first attempt, 28 (19%) patients required one adjusting manoeuvre and 46 (31%) patients required 2-4 adjusting manoeuvres before intubation was successful. There were 13 patients with potential or known airway problems. The lungs of all of these patients were ventilated easily and the trachea intubated using the ILMA. In 10 of 13 (77%) of these patients, no resistance was encountered and the trachea was intubated at the first attempt; three of 13 (23%) patients required one adjusting manoeuvre. Tracheal intubation required significantly fewer adjusting manoeuvres in patients with a predicted or known difficult airway (P < 0.05). We conclude that the ILMA appeared on initial assessment to be an effective ventilatory device and intubation guide for routine and difficult airway patients not at risk of gastric aspiration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Contraindications
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods
  • Laryngeal Masks*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged