Tag Archives: Levitan

Dual endoscopy

“Dual endoscopy” refers to using two devices – usually a video laryngoscope and a rigid or flexible endoscope – to manage an airway.  The Bonfils (or Shikani or Levitan) optical stylet is often used in this context.  Performing dual endoscopy provides “three levels of protection”:

  1. If the glottic opening is easily seen with the laryngoscope, the rigid endoscope simply acts as an ideally shaped or steerable stylet to introduce the tube
  2. If the view is poor (CL grade 3 or 4), the laryngoscope can be used to guide the tip of the ETT and endoscope “into the ballpark”, and then the final positioning of the tip of the tube through the vocal cords is achieved with the endoscope.
  3. If the airway is badly soiled or swollen (eg. ongoing bleeding or angioedema), the endoscope can be used as a lightwand for a transillumination technique.  (Remember lightwands, anyone?)

Here’s a brief informal video explaining the first two points, using the CMAC VL/VS:

Another dual endoscopy approach is “VAFI” (video-assisted flexible/fibreoptic intubation), where a VL is used to help place a flexible endoscope, whereafter the rest of the intubation is continued using the flexible.  Several good case reports of this technique are described in the literature.

Here’s a brief clinical example of dual endoscopy using the CMAC VL and VS (video stylet).  This case was performed for teaching purposes, rather than a difficult airway.  Note the endoscopic view appearing as a picture-in-picture is from the editing; the images are on two separate displays.  (It starts a little late due to the author forgetting to press the record button on the device).

 

Rigid Intubation Scopes

Rigid endoscopes are very valuable tools for intubation in certain difficult scenarios, but are not commonly used in most centres.  The techniques and learning curve differ significantly from normal direct laryngoscopy, requiring independent practice to become proficient.  Pictured here are (left to right) a rigid bronchoscope, Bonfils, Levitan and Shikani optical stylets (rigid intubating endoscopes).

(L to R) Rigid bronchoscope, Bonfils, Levitan and Shikani optical stylets.  Click to enlarge.
(L to R) Rigid bronchoscope, Bonfils, Levitan and Shikani optical stylets. Click to enlarge.

This is the set-up for basic training on an UCT Anaesthesia Airways course.  Which of these devices have you used?  Do you have tricks or comments to share?