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Keywords:

  • airway management;
  • cat;
  • endotracheal tube;
  • isoflurane;
  • v-gel supraglottic airway device

Abstract

Objective

To compare airway management using the v-gel supraglottic airway device (v-gel SGAD) to that using an endotracheal tube (ETT), with respect to practicability, leakage of volatile anaesthetics and upper airway discomfort in cats.

Study design

Prospective, randomized clinical trial.

Animals

Twenty European Shorthair cats (9 males, 11 females), weighing 3.3 ± 0.7 kg.

Methods

Cats were randomly allocated to one of two groups, in which the airway was managed by either the v-gel SGAD or a cuffed ETT, and anaesthetized for neutering procedures. The dose of propofol necessary to insert the ETT or v-gel SGAD; time from the first injection of propofol to the first clinically acceptable reading on the capnograph; leakage of isoflurane around the airway device; and upper airway discomfort scores during recovery and during the first 24 hours after anaesthesia were recorded. Continuous and discrete variables were analyzed with the Mann–Whitney U-test and the Pearson chi-squared test, respectively. Results were considered statistically significant if < 0.05.

Results

Time from the first injection of propofol to the first clinically acceptable reading on the capnograph was significantly shorter in the v-gel group. The ETT group showed significantly more stridor during recovery. No other significant differences were found.

Conclusions and clinical relevance

Airway management with the v-gel SGAD is a sound and practicable alternative to endotracheal intubation with an ETT. However, larger prospective trials will be needed to draw firm conclusions on the benefits and/or drawbacks of the use of v-gel SGAD for airway management in cats.