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BMC Res Notes. 2017 Aug 1;10(1):361. doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-2694-6.

Betamethasone gel compared with lidocaine jelly to reduce tracheal tube related postoperative airway symptoms: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Ghopa, Dharan-18, Sunsari, Nepal.
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, National Academy of Medical Sciences, Bir Hospital, Mahaboudha, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Department of Anesthesiology, Paropakar Maternity and Women's Hospital, Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Perioperative Medicine, Nepal Medical College (Pvt.) Ltd. Teaching Hospital, Attarkhel, Jorpati, Kathmandu, Nepal.



Post-operative airway symptoms can be troublesome to patients following an uneventful general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation. In this study, we compared the effectiveness of lubricating an endotracheal tube with betamethasone gel or lidocaine jelly with using an unlubricated tube in reducing the incidence and severity of postoperative sore throat, hoarseness and cough.


This was a prospective, randomized, single-blind comparative study carried out among 120 ASA I and II patients aged 18-65 years undergoing elective surgery under general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation. Patients were randomly divided into three groups of 40 patients each. Endotracheal tube used for patients in group C was unlubricated, while that for group B and group L were lubricated up to 15 cm mark with 2.5 ml of 0.05% betamethasone gel or 2% lidocaine jelly respectively. Incidence and severity of postoperative sore throat, hoarseness and cough were observed at 1, 6 and 24 h following extubation.


At 24 h following extubation, group B had the lowest incidence of postoperative sore throat among the three groups (group B: 12.5% vs group L: 37.5% vs group C: 25%; p = 0.036). Severity of postoperative sore throat at 24 h was less with betamethasone (score 0: 87.5%, 1: 10%) compared with lidocaine (score 0: 62.5%, 1: 37.5%) and control (score 0:75%, 1: 20%) (p = 0.006). Observations at other times and of other variables were comparable.


Wide spread application of 0.05% betamethasone gel to lubricate the endotracheal tube significantly reduces the incidence and severity of sore throat at 24 h of extubation but not of hoarseness or cough.


Betamethasone; Intubation, endotracheal; Lidocaine; Postoperative complications, cough, sore throat, hoarseness

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