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SPECIAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 782-786

Enhancing airway assessment of patients with head and neck pathology using virtual endoscopy


Department of Anaesthesia, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 9RT, UK

Correspondence Address:
Imran Ahmad
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT
UK
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ija.IJA_588_17

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Studies have demonstrated that poor assessment and planning contribute to airway complications and that current airway assessment strategies have a poor diagnostic accuracy in predicting difficult intubation in the general population. Patients with head and neck pathology are at higher risk for difficulties during airway management and are more likely to need emergency surgical access. Therefore, thorough assessment of this group of patients is mandatory. The addition of virtual endoscopy (VE) to clinical history and computerised tomography imaging has been shown to improve diagnostic accuracy for supraglottic, glottic and infraglottic lesions and has a positive influence in formulating a more cautious and thorough airway management strategy in this high-risk group of patients. This article reviews whether VE can enhance airway assessment in patients with head and neck pathology and help reduce airway complications.


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