Laryngeal mask airway - A novel method of airway protection during ERCP: Comparison with endotracheal intubation

Irene P. Osborn, Jonathan Cohen, Robert J. Soper, Leslie A. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


Background: ERCP sometimes requires deep sedation and rarely general anesthesia with airway protection. The laryngeal mask airway device is placed perorally to create a seal over the larynx. Unlike endotracheal intubation, no tube traverses the vocal cords, thus reducing airway stimulation and obviating the need to administer muscle relaxants. The feasibility of using the laryngeal mask airway during ERCP was evaluated and recovery times compared for patients undergoing ERCP with the laryngeal mask airway versus endotracheal intubation. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, anesthesia records were reviewed for anesthesiologist-assisted ERCP procedures performed during a 30-month period. Demographics, procedure duration, and time from endoscope removal to extubation were abstracted. Either propofol or inhalation agents were used for anesthesia in all patients. Observations: Anesthesiologists administered sedation for 41 ERCPs. The airway was managed in 12 patients with endotracheal intubation and the laryngeal mask airway in 20 patients. Six patients underwent laryngeal mask airway insertion and removal while prone. A therapeutic duodenoscope was passed beyond the laryngeal mask airway with little or no resistance in all cases. Repositioning the laryngeal mask airway during the procedure was required in 1 case. Laryngeal mask airway use was associated with shorter extubation time compared with endotracheal intubation (7.2 vs. 12 min.; p = 0.004). There were no airway complications. Conclusion: ERCP can be performed while using the laryngeal mask airway for airway protection. The laryngeal mask airway can be placed with the patient prone, obviating the need to change position. Laryngeal mask airway shortens extubation time compared with endotracheal intubation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalGastrointestinal endoscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology

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