Background and objective: This study was performed to compare three supraglottic airway devices: the ProSeal laryngeal mask airway (PLMA), the laryngeal tube S (LTS) and the oesophageal–tracheal combitube (OTC) during routine surgical procedures.
Methods: Ninety American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) I–III patients scheduled for routine minor obstetric surgery were randomly allocated to the PLMA (n = 30), the LTS (n = 30) or the OTC (n = 30) group, respectively. The overall success rate, insertion time, cuff pressures and resulting airway leak pressures were determined as well as a subjective assessment of handling and the incidence of sore throat, dysphagia and hoarseness were performed.
Results: Insertion time until the first adequate ventilation was significantly (P < 0.0001) shorter in the PLMA (median 29 s; 25–75th percentile 25–48 s; range 10–161 s; success rate 100%) and in the LTS group (38 s; 30–44 s; 13–180 s; 100%) compared to the OTC group (75 s; 48–98 s; 35–180 s; 90%). In vivo cuff pressures and airway leak pressures increased with the inflating cuff volume in all devices and were highest in the OTC group. Postoperatively, patients in the PLMA and the LTS group complained significantly less about sore throat (P < 0.001 and 0.05) and dysphagia (P < 0.001 and 0.02) compared to the OTC group, while there was no difference regarding the incidence of hoarseness. Subjective assessment of handling was comparable with the PLMA and the LTS, but inferior with the OTC.
Conclusions: In conclusion, both PLMA and LTS proved to be suitable for routine surgical procedures and proved to be superior to the OTC which cannot be recommended for routine use.