Background and objective:: The laryngeal mask has become a widely accepted alternative to endotracheal intubation and mask ventilation. The laryngeal tube is a relatively new supraglottic airway device for airway management. We compared the new version of the laryngeal tube with the laryngeal mask.
Methods:: In a randomized design, either a laryngeal tube (n = 66) or a laryngeal mask (n = 66) were inserted. Ease of insertion, oxygenation and ventilation, spirometry data and postoperative airway morbidity were determined.
Results:: After successful insertion, it was possible to maintain oxygenation and ventilation in all the patients. Insertion success rates after the first, second and third attempts were 84.8% (n = 56), 12.1% (n = 8) and 3% (n = 2) for the laryngeal tube compared with 56.1% (n = 37), 25.8% (n = 17) and 18.2% (n = 12) for the laryngeal mask (P = 0.001). There was no significant difference in peak airway pressure, and dynamic compliance between the groups (P > 0.05). Blood on the cuff after removal of the device was noted in one patient with the laryngeal tube and in 10 patients with the laryngeal mask. Six patients in the laryngeal mask group complained of hoarseness (P = 0.012).
Conclusion:: With respect to clinical function, the new version of the laryngeal tube and the laryngeal mask are similar and either device can be used to establish a safe and effective airway in paralysed patients.