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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-16

Comparison between dexmedetomidine and fentanyl on intubating condition to facilitate awake oral fibreoptic intubation under topical anaesthesia – A randomised controlled trial

1 Department of Onco-Anesthesia and Palliative Medicine, Dr. BRAIRCH, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Northern Railway Central Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Vishnu Panwar
Department of Onco-Anesthesia and Palliative Medicine, Dr. BRAIRCH, AIIMS, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/arwy.arwy_26_22

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Background and Aims: Awake fibreoptic intubation (AFOI) is the standard method of airway management in the anticipated difficult airway. While many drugs have been employed for sedation, there is no single drug that can be recommended as the drug of choice. Dexmedetomidine is characterised by effects of sedation, analgesia, amnesia and lack of respiratory depression. Hence, we hypothesised that dexmedetomidine should be suitable for AFOI and compared it to the control drug fentanyl. This study assesses the level of sedation and intubating conditions using dexmedetomidine or fentanyl during awake fibreoptic orotracheal intubation. Methods: Sixty adult patients, American Society of Anaesthesiology class I and II, who required orotracheal intubation during general anaesthesia with the normal airway were randomised to receive dexmedetomidine 0.6 μg/kg (Group A) or fentanyl 1.0 μg/kg (Group B) intravenous infusion for 10 min, after topical anaesthesia to the airway. A total of 60 patients were allocated, 30 patients in each group. The primary objective was to assess the intubating conditions with dexmedetomidine compared to fentanyl. Results: The intubation score for vocal cord movement (1.57 ± 0.68 in Group A vs 1.93 ± 0.75 in Group B) and cough (1.50 ± 0.78 in Group A vs 1.90 ± 0.72 in Group B), endoscopy score (2.17 ± 0.59 in Group A vs 2.47 ± 0.69 in Group B), sedation score (4.73 ± 0.5 in Group A vs 4.47 ± 0.57 in Group B) and patient satisfaction score (1.20 ± 0.41 in Group A vs 1.47 ± 0.68 in Group B) were statistically significant in patients receiving dexmedetomidine. During the procedure, there was a statistically and clinically significant increase in heart rate of 1.5% in Group A versus 22% in Group B, and an increase in mean arterial pressure of 1.95% in Group A versus and 10.27% in the Group B. Conclusion: Dexmedetomidine provided better intubation conditions than fentanyl, with greater haemodynamic stability, better sedation and greater patient satisfaction score compared to fentanyl during awake fibreoptic oral intubation.

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