Manual inline stabilization of the head and neck is a recommended maneuver for tracheal intubation in patients with a suspected cervical injury. However, because applying this maneuver inevitably restricts neck flexion and head extension, indirect intubating devices such as a videolaryngoscope or a video stylet could be required for successful tracheal intubation. In this study, we compared the clinical performance of the McGrath MAC videolaryngoscope versus the Optiscope video stylet in patients with manual inline cervical stabilization during tracheal intubation.
In 367 consecutive patients undergoing elective cervical spine surgery, tracheal intubation was randomly performed with manual inline stabilization using either the McGrath MAC videolaryngoscope (group M, n = 183) or the Optiscope video stylet (group O, n = 184) by 2 experienced anesthesiologists in a single institution. The primary outcome was the first-attempt success rate of tracheal intubation. Secondary outcomes were intubation time and the incidence of postoperative airway complications, such as sore throat, hoarseness, blood in the oral cavity, and blood staining on the endotracheal tube.
The first-attempt success rate of tracheal intubation was significantly higher in group M compared with group O (92.3% vs 81.0%; risk difference [95% confidence interval], 0.11 [0.05–0.18]; P
= .002). The intubation time was significantly shorter in group M than in group O (35.7 ± 27.8 vs 49.2 ± 43.8; mean difference [95% confidence interval], 13.5 [5.9–21.1]; P
= .001). The incidence of postoperative airway complications was not significantly different between the 2 groups.
The McGrath MAC videolaryngoscope showed a higher first-attempt success rate for tracheal intubation and a shorter intubation time than the Optiscope video stylet in cervical spine patients with manual inline stabilization during tracheal intubation. These results suggest that the McGrath MAC videolaryngoscope may be a better option for tracheal intubation in such patients.