Author(s): Wilson IG, Fell D, Robinson SL, Smith G
We have compared, in 40 healthy patients, the cardiovascular responses induced by laryngoscopy and intubation with those produced by insertion of a laryngeal mask. Anaesthesia was induced with thiopentone and maintained with enflurane and nitrous oxide in oxygen; vecuronium was used for muscle relaxation. Arterial pressure was measured with a Finapres monitor. The mean maximum increase in systolic arterial pressure after laryngoscopy and tracheal intubation was 51.3% compared with 22.9% for laryngeal mask insertion (p less than 0.01). Increases in maximum heart rate were similar, (26.6% v 25.7%) although heart rate remained elevated for longer after tracheal intubation. We conclude that insertion of the laryngeal mask airway is accompanied by smaller cardiovascular responses than those after laryngoscopy and intubation and that its use may be indicated in those patients in whom a marked pressor response would be deleterious.