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Korean J Anesthesiol. 2018 Apr;71(2):120-126. English. Randomized Controlled Trial.
Mathur PR , Jain N , Kumar A , Thada B , Mathur V , Garg D .
Department of Anesthesia, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Ajmer, India.


The preferred management strategy for difficult airways is awake fiberoptic bronchoscopy-guided intubation, which requires effective airway anesthesia to ensure patient comfort and acceptance. This randomized single-blind prospective study was conducted to compare lignocaine nebulization and airway nerve block for airway anesthesia prior to awake fiberoptic bronchoscopy-guided intubation.


Sixty adult patients scheduled for surgical procedures under general anesthesia were randomly allocated to two groups. Group N received jet nebulization (10 ml of 4% lignocaine) and Group B received bilateral superior laryngeal and transtracheal recurrent laryngeal nerve blocks (each with 2 ml of 2% lignocaine) followed by fiberoptic bronchoscopy-guided nasotracheal intubation. All patients received procedural sedation with dexmedetomidine. The intubation time, intubating conditions, vocal cord position, cough severity, and degree of patient satisfaction were recorded. Student's t test was used to analyze parametric data, while the Mann-Whitney U test was applied to non-parametric data and Fisher's test to categorical data. P values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.


The time taken for intubation was significantly shorter in Group B [115.2 (14.7) s compared with Group N [214.0 (22.2) s] (P = 0.029). The intubating conditions and degree of patient comfort were better in Group B compared with Group N. Although all patients were successfully intubated, patient satisfaction was higher in Group B.


Airway nerve blocks are preferable to lignocaine nebulization as they provide superior-quality airway anesthesia. However, nebulization may be a suitable alternative when a nerve block is not feasible.

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