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A revision of the Cormack and Lehane laryngoscopic grading system with special consideration to grade II laryngoscopic view

Author(s): Hussain khan Z | Azarbakht Z

Journal: Tehran University Medical Journal
ISSN 1683-1764

Volume: 65;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: modified cormack-lehane grading

Background: The major responsibility of an anesthesiologist is to provide adequate respiration for the patient. The most vital element in providing functional respiration is the airway. No anesthetic is safe unless diligent efforts are devoted to maintaining an intact functional airway. Difficult intubation had been classified into four grades, according to the view obtainable at laryngoscopy by Cormack and Lehane in 1984. This grading system has been in use to evaluate and manage those patients with difficult airway by anesthesiologists. In clinical state, grades III and IV are quite rare, so the need for a modified Cormack and Lehane grading system was felt. The use of a modified Cormack-Lehane scoring system of laryngoscopic views during direct laryngoscopy, was previously examined in the Western population. Koh and his co-workers had examined this modified Cormack and Lehane grading system in Asian population in a study in Singapore General Hospital. The aim of this study was to investigate this scoring system in Iranian patients.Methods: In a cross sectional study, a modified version of the Cormack and Lehane grading system was evaluated in 300 patients requiring tracheal intubation. In the modified system, grade II (only part of the glottis is visible) was divided into IIa (part of the cords is visible) and IIb (only the arytenoids or the very posterior origin of the cords are visible). Difficult intubation was defined as requiring more than one laryngoscopy or the use of special equipments.Results: Sixty eight patients (22.7%) were scored as grade IIa and 32 (7.7%) as grade IIb. The prevalence of difficult intubation in grade IIb was significantly higher than patients in group IIa (47.8% vs. 2.9% respectively, Fisher's exact test, p= 0.001)Conclusion: The modified grading system provides more information than the original Cormack and Lehane system."n 
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