A comparison of the stress response to laryngoscopy. The Macintosh versus the McCoy blade

E P McCoyB V McCloskey


The cardiovascular changes and catecholamine concentrations were compared in 20 patients before and after laryngoscopy with either the Macintosh or the McCoy laryngoscope blades. Following induction with fentanyl and thiopentone and muscle relaxation with vecuronium the vocal cords were visualised for 10 s with either the Macintosh or McCoy blade, chosen at random. Heart rate, arterial blood pressure and plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline concentrations were measured before, and at, laryngoscopy, and 1, 3 and 5 min later. There was a significant increase in both heart rate (33%) and arterial blood pressure (27%) after laryngoscopy using the Macintosh blade (p < 0.01). Use of the McCoy blade did not result in any significant change in either heart rate or arterial blood pressure. There was a slight increase (p > 0.05) in plasma noradrenaline concentrations using the Macintosh blade which persisted for 5 min after laryngoscopy. This was not observed with the McCoy blade. There was no change in plasma adrenaline concentrations with either blade during the 5 min after laryngoscopy when compared to the values before laryngoscopy. It is concluded that the stress response to laryngoscopy is less marked with the use of the McCoy blade...Continue Reading


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