In patients with pathology of the neck ultrasonography is highly accurate in localizing the cricothyroid membrane and is comparable to CT-scan as the accepted standard. And in this population the cricothyroid membrane was only identified successfully in 8% of the patients whereas ultrasonography resulted in 81% success. These are the findings of our colleagues Siddiqui, You-Ten and co-workers from Toronto who authored the first of the two EAMS-articles-of-the –Month for May 2019. It thus seems beneficial to identify the cricothyroid membrane before initiating airway management in this notoriously difficult group of patients, and we should consider to use bedside-ultrasound for this purpose.
This leads to the second of the articles where we look at the useful information for managing the airway of the difficult patients that we gain from identifying both the cricothyroid membrane and other important structures of the front-of-the-neck.
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Best from Copenhagen!
Michael Seltz Kristensen
Siddiqui N, Yu E, Boulis S, You-Ten KE: Ultrasound Is Superior to Palpation in Identifying the Cricothyroid Membrane in Subjects with Poorly Defined Neck Landmarks: A Randomized Clinical Trial, Anesthesiology. 2018 Dec;129(6):1132-1139