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Background and Aims Airway management is important in patients with obesity because of their anatomical and physiological characteristics. Th aim of this study is to evaluate the usefulness of ultrasonographic measurements of anterior neck soft tissue thickness for assessment of difficult mask ventilation (DMV) and difficult laryngoscopy (DL) in obese patients.
Methods This prospective study was conducted between February 2020 and March 2022. Preoperative demographic data, airway findings, presence of sleep apnea, and STOP-Bang scores were recorded. The distance from the skin to the hyoid bone (DSHB), distance from the skin to the anterior commissure of the vocal cords (DSAC), minimum distance from the skin to the trachea at the level of the suprasternal notch (DST), distance from the skin to the thyroid isthmus (DSI), and distance from the skin to the epiglottis (DSE) were measured. The degree of DMV and DL was quantified.
Results Patients aged 18–65 years (n = 128; 30 men and 98 women) were included in this study. The mean patient age, body mass index, and neck circumference were 50.4±12.2 years, 38.0±5.19 kg/m2, and 41.3±4.05 cm, respectively. The incidence of DMV and DL was 11.7% and 10.9%, respectively. DMV showed a significant relationship with neck circumference (P=0.02), while difficult airways showed no relationship with anterior neck soft tissue ultrasonography measurements (DSHB, DSAC, DST, DSI, and DSE).
Conclusions Anterior neck soft tissue measurements may not predictive of DL and DMV in obese patients.