Airway management in patients with Moebius syndrome can be difficult due to the presence of orofacial malformations. This paper aims to present our institution's experience in the evaluation and management of the upper airway in patients with Moebius syndrome
The authors performed a retrospective study including every patient with Moebius syndrome submitted to surgery between 2012 and 2017. Difficult airway was defined as one requiring more than 2 attempts to achieve endotracheal tube placement, a Mallampati score equal or above III, a Cormack score equal or above III, or need of a fiberscope during intubation.
Fifty-one patients were included, (39.3% males) requiring 172 procedures. Each patient required an average of 3.37 ± 1.94 anesthetic events. Average Body Mass Index (BMI) was 20.07 ± 6.06, 45.1% were overweight or obese. Four patients (7%) were considered as having a potentially difficult airway. Endotracheal intubation was achieved in all patients; 38 patients were intubated in a single attempt, while the rest were successfully intubated on a second try. Fiberscope was not necessary. Univariate analysis showed that overweight/obese patients were more likely to be considered as having a difficult airway (P = 0.03).
Intubation can be difficult in patients with Moebius syndrome, but failure is rare. Overweight or obese patients are at risk of presenting a difficult airway. An extensive preoperative evaluation and adequate communication between the members of the multidisciplinary team in charge of these patients is paramount.