Comparison of conventional surgical versus Seldinger technique emergency cricothyrotomy performed by inexperienced clinicians. (1/37)

BACKGROUND: Cricothyrotomy is the ultimate option for a patient with a life-threatening airway problem. METHODS: The authors compared the first-time performance of surgical (group 1) versus Seldinger technique (group 2) cricothyrotomy in cadavers. Intensive care unit physicians (n = 20) performed each procedure on two adult human cadavers. Methods were compared with regard to ease of use and anatomy of the neck of the cadaver. Times to location of the cricothyroid membrane, to tracheal puncture, and to the first ventilation were recorded. Each participant was allowed only one attempt per procedure. A pathologist dissected the neck of each patient and assessed correctness of position of the tube and any injury inflicted. Subjective assessment of technique and cadaver on a visual analog scale from 1 (easiest) to 5 (worst) was conducted by the performer. RESULTS: Age, height, and weight of the cadavers were not different. Subjective assessment of both methods (2.2 in group 1 vs. 2.4 in group 2) and anatomy of the cadavers (2.2 in group 1 vs. 2.4 in group 2) showed no statistically significant difference between both groups. Tracheal placement of the tube was achieved in 70% (n = 14) in group 1 versus 60% (n = 12) in group 2 (P value not significant). Five attempts in group 2 had to be aborted because of kinking of the guide wire. Time intervals (mean +/- SD) were from start to location of the cricothyroid membrane 7 +/- 9 s (group 1) versus 8 +/- 7s (group 2), to tracheal puncture 46 +/- 37s (group 1) versus 30 +/- 28s (group 2), and to first ventilation 102 +/- 42s (group 1) versus 100 +/- 46s (group 2) (P value not significant). CONCLUSIONS: The two methods showed equally poor performance.  (+info)

A series of thyroplasty cases under general anaesthesia. (2/37)

Thyroplasty is an operation on the upper airway to improve voice quality in patients with unilateral vocal cord paralysis. It requires access to an uninstrumented larynx and a functional assessment of vocal cord medialization. It is a difficult anaesthetic procedure that requires sharing the airway with the surgeon. We describe an anaesthetic technique to give good operating conditions and a safe airway, using total intravenous anaesthesia, a laryngeal mask airway and intraoperative fibreoptic endoscopic assessment of the larynx, and present a series of 13 patients. Other anaesthetic techniques for thyroplasty are described and discussed.  (+info)

Giant cell tumor of the larynx: a clinicopathologic series of eight cases and a review of the literature. (3/37)

True giant cell tumors of the larynx (GCTL) are quite rare, and only individual case reports are documented in the literature. Eight cases of GCTL were identified in the Otorhinolaryngic Pathology Tumor Registry between 1966 and 2000. There were 2 women and 6 men, ages 26 to 62 years (mean, 44.5 yrs). Patients presented with a palpable neck mass (n = 5), airway obstruction (n = 3), hoarseness (n = 3), and dysphagia (n = 2). All tumors involved the thyroid cartilage, a few with local extension. The mean tumor size was 4.1 cm. Histologically, the tumors showed no connection to the surface epithelium and arose in sites of ossification. The tumors had an expansile, infiltrative growth and consisted of numerous multinucleated osteoclast-like giant cells within a cellular stroma composed of plump, oval mononuclear cells. Of interest was that the nuclei of the giant cells were similar to the nuclei of the stromal cells. Treatment included biopsy only with adjuvant therapy (n = 2), local resection (n = 3), and total laryngectomy (n = 3). Follow-up showed 5 patients were alive without evidence of disease (mean follow-up, 6.9 yrs); 2 died of unrelated causes (mean survival, 22.2 yrs). No patients developed recurrences. GCTL are rare tumors that can cause significant airway obstruction. Complete surgical resection yields an excellent outcome without adjuvant therapy.  (+info)

Cricothyroidotomy for elective airway management in critically ill trauma patients with technically challenging neck anatomy. (4/37)

INTRODUCTION: To assess the value of elective cricothyroidotomy for airway management in critically ill trauma patients with technically challenging neck anatomy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective chart review of patients admitted to the Trauma Service at a Level I Trauma Center who underwent cricothyroidotomy for elective airway management over a 40-month period from January 1997 to April 2000. Comparison was made with a cohort of Trauma Service patients who received a tracheostomy. RESULTS: Eighteen patients met study criteria, and an unpaired t test revealed significance (P < 0.05) for age only. There was no difference with Injury Severity Score, number of days in the intensive care unit, number of days requiring ventilation post procedure or number of days intubated prior to procedure. The major difference was the more technically challenging neck anatomy in the patients undergoing cricothyroidotomy. Five out of 18 patients undergoing cricothyroidotomy died prior to discharge and two out of 18 died after discharge from complications unrelated to their airway. Two out of 18 patients undergoing tracheostomy died prior to discharge from complications unrelated to their airway. For a period of 1 week-15 months (average, 5.5 months), notes in subsequent clinic appointments were reviewed for subjective assessment of wound healing, breathing and swallowing difficulties, and voice changes. One patient with a cricothyroidotomy required silver nitrate to treat some granulation tissue. Otherwise, no complications were identified. Telephone interviews were conducted with eight of the 11 surviving cricothyroidotomy patients and nine of the 16 surviving tracheostomy patients. One tracheostomy patient required surgical closure 3 months after discharge; otherwise, the only noted change was minor voice changes in three patients in each group. All six of these patients denied that this compromised them in any way. CONCLUSION: Elective cricothyroidotomy has a low complication rate and is a reasonable, technically less demanding option in critically ill patients with challenging neck anatomy requiring a surgical airway.  (+info)

Relative contribution of various airway protective mechanisms to prevention of aspiration during swallowing. (5/37)

Deglutitive airway protective mechanisms include glottal closure, epiglottal descent, and anterosuperior displacement of the larynx. Aspiration of swallowed material may occur during the pre-, intra-, or postpharyngeal phase of swallowing. Our objectives were to determine the relative contribution of the airway protective mechanisms during each phase of swallow in 14 decerebrated cats before and after suprahyoid myotomy, epiglottectomy, and unilateral cordectomy. After myotomy, superior excursions of the hyoid, thyroid, and cricoid cartilages and anteroposterior diameter of maximum upper esophageal spincter (UES) opening were significantly diminished, but the incidence of pharyngeal residue significantly increased (P < 0.05). No aspiration was observed in the predeglutitive period. After myotomy, the incidence of aspiration significantly increased in both intra- and postdeglutitive periods. Epiglottectomy did not alter aspiration incidence, but unilateral cordectomy resulted in a 100% incidence of intra- and postdeglutitive aspiration. In conclusion, glottal closure constitutes the primary mechanism for prevention of intra- and postdeglutitive aspiration, but laryngeal elevation may assist this function. Bolus pulsion without laryngeal distraction can open the UES, but at risk of aspiration due to decreased pharyngeal clearance. The epiglottis provides no apparent airway protection during any phase of swallowing.  (+info)

Fluoroscope-aided retrograde placement of guide wire for tracheal intubation in patients with limited mouth opening. (6/37)

Passing a retrograde catheter/wire into the pharynx through a cricothyroid puncture can facilitate tracheal intubation in difficult situations where either a flexible fibre-optic bronchoscope or an expert user of such a device is not available. Some mouth opening is essential for the oral and/or nasal retrieval of the catheter/wire from the pharynx. Two patients with temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis and extremely limited mouth opening required gap arthroplasty of the TMJ under general anaesthesia. Because we did not have a flexible fibre-optic bronchoscope, we performed fluoroscopy-assisted nasal retrieval of the guide wire passed up through a cricothyroid puncture and subsequently accomplished wire-guided naso-tracheal intubation. In the absence of a flexible fibre-optic bronchoscope, this technique is a very useful aid to intubation in patients with limited mouth opening.  (+info)

Gender-specific distribution of glycosaminoglycans during cartilage mineralization of human thyroid cartilage. (7/37)

The role of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) in the process of cartilage mineralization, especially in the hypertrophic zone of growth plates, is not yet fully understood. Human thyroid cartilage can serve as a model to observe matrix changes associated with cartilage mineralization because the processes follow a distinct route, progress very slowly and show sexual differences. Histochemical staining for low sulphated GAG (chondroitin-4- and -6-sulphates) was decreased in the interterritorial matrix of thyroid cartilage starting at the beginning of the fifth decade, but not in the pericellular or territorial matrix of chondrocytes. Because cartilage mineralization progressed in the interterritorial matrix it seems likely that a decreasing content of chondroitin-4- and -6-sulphates is involved in the mineralization process. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that immunostaining for chondroitin-4- and -6-sulphates was weaker in mineralized cartilage areas than in unmineralized areas, whereas there was no difference in staining for keratan sulphate. In all life decades, female thyroid cartilages contained more chondrocytes with a territorial rim of chondroitin-4- and -6-sulphates probably preventing cartilage mineralization compared with age-matched male specimens. Taken together, the characteristic distribution pattern of chondroitin-4- and -6-sulphates being more concentrated in female than in male thyroid cartilages provided evidence that these macromolecules decrease in cartilage mineralization.  (+info)

Anatomical study of meandering and functions of human intralaryngeal artery. (8/37)

In recent years, partial laryngectomy and partial reconstruction are increasingly intended for conservation of functions of phonation and swallowing. In partial reconstruction, it is important to comprehend morphological characteristics of the blood vessels distributed in the larynx, but there have been only few reports discussing detailed information about them. Previous reports on laryngeal blood vessels have shown that branches of some arteries show remarkable "meandering". In the present study, we devised a method for objectively determining the morphological nature, "meandering" and assessed functions of the arteries. Intralaryngeal arteries were excised from the larynx of cadavers prepared for practice in anatomy, and images of the "meandering" artery were analyzed with NIH Image. The extent of "meandering" was expressed mainly as the ratio of the total length of the blood vessel to the distance between the starting point and the end point of meandering. The results showed that there was a significant difference in the extent of meandering between superior posterior and medial posterior branches of superior laryngeal artery. These arteries, which were distributed in the arytenoid region, were found to be of primary importance in partial laryngectomy and partial reconstruction of the larynx.  (+info)