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J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Oct;30(4):526-32. doi: 10.4103/0970-9185.142849.

Comparison of combitube, easy tube and tracheal tube for general anesthesia.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Shahadra, New Delhi, India.



The Combitube(®) and EasyTube™ enable effective ventilation whether placed in the trachea or esophagus and can be used in prehospital settings, as well as in "Cannot Ventilate Cannot Intubate" situations in the operating room. Whether they can be continued to provide general anesthesia, if required, is not established. Thus the efficacy of Combitube and EasyTube was evaluated and compared with the tracheal tube for general anesthesia using controlled ventilation.


Combitube, EasyTube and tracheal tubes were used in 30 patients each to secure the airway in a randomized controlled manner. Ventilatory parameters were measured along with hemodynamic variables, and characteristics related to device placement.


There was no significant difference in the various ventilatory parameters including minute ventilation requirement to maintain eucapnia amongst the three groups at any time point. There was no hypoxia or hypercarbia in any patient at any time. Placement of EasyTube was more difficult (P = 0.01) as compared with both Combitube and tracheal tube. EasyTube and Combitube resulted in higher incidence of minor trauma than with a tracheal tube (P = 0.00).


Combitube and EasyTube may be continued for general anesthesia in patients undergoing elective nonlaparoscopic surgeries of moderate duration, if placed for airway maintenance. Given the secondary observations regarding placement characteristics of the airway devices, it, however cannot be concluded that the devices are a substitute for endotracheal tube for airway maintenance per se, unless specifically indicated.


Combitube; EasyTube; general anesthesia

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