Hyomental distance in the different head positions and hyomental distance ratio in predicting difficult intubation
The hyomental distance ratio (HMDR) is the ratio between the hyomental distance (HMD) (the distance between the hyoid bone and the tip of the chin) at the extreme of head extension (HMDe) and the one in the neutral position (HMDn). The objective of the study was to examine the predictive value, sensitivity, and specificity of HMDe, HMDn, and HMDR in predicting difficult endotracheal intubation (DI). A prospective study included 262 patients that underwent elective surgical operations. The following parameters were observed as possible predictors of DI: HMDR, HMDe, HMDn, Mallampati score, and body mass index (BMI). The cut-off points for the DI predictors were HMDe <5.3 cm, HMDn ≤5.5 cm, and HMDR ≤1.2. The assessment that DI existed was made by the anesthesiologist while performing laryngoscopy by applying the Cormack-Lehane classification. DI was present in 13 patients (5%). No significant difference was observed in the frequency of DI with regard to the sex, age, and BMI of the patients. Our research indicated HMDR as the best predictor of DI with a sensitivity of 95.6% and specificity of 69.2%. HMDR can be used in the everyday work of anesthesiologists because HMDR values ≤1.2 may reliably predict DI.
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