Article Abstract

Trachway video intubating stylet allows for optimization of electromyographic endotracheal tube placement for monitored thyroidectomy

Authors: Pi-Ying Chang, Pin-Yang Hu, Yi-Chu Lin, Hsiu-Ya Chen, Feng-Yu Chiang, Che-Wei Wu, Gianlorenzo Dionigi, I-Cheng Lu


Background: Endotracheal tube-based surface electrodes are now commonly applied to measure evoked electromyographic (EMG) response of the vocal cord during monitored thyroidectomy. The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of difficult intubation and to assess the effectiveness of using video-assisted intubating stylet (Trachway) for EMG tube placement in patients undergoing monitored thyroidectomy.
Methods: Medical records were collected from consecutive patients undergoing thyroid surgery before and after implementation of the protocol. A total of 748 patients intubated with EMG tube for monitored thyroidectomy by the same team were enrolled in this study. Patient allocation was based on intubation technique either conventional direct laryngoscopy (n=336) or Trachway (n=412). The intubation difficulty was assessed and analyzed.
Results: The overall incidence of difficult intubation was 4.4%. Incidence of difficult intubation was significantly lower in patients with the Trachway procedure (2.7%) than direct laryngoscopy (6.5%, P=0.01). The incidence of “unable to intubate” (>3 attempts, or change airway device or anesthesiologist) also significantly reduced from 2.3% to 0.5% after introduction of the Trachway intubating stylet (P=0.02).
Conclusions: We conclude that the incidence of difficult intubation was significantly lower with Trachway than direct laryngoscopy. The Trachway video-intubating stylet is useful and helpful to reduce EMG tube intubation difficulty for monitored thyroidectomy.