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1.  Central venous catheter malposition in the azygos vein and difficult endotracheal intubation in severe ankylosing spondylitis: a case report 
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can be challenging for anesthesiologists because central venous access can be difficult, and the airway can be blocked due to the fixed flexion deformity of the spine. In this case, we attempted central access via the right subclavian vein, but the catheter was repeatedly inserted into the azygos vein, which was confirmed by radiology. After several attempts, the catheter position was corrected at the superior vena cava-atrial junction. Although several useful devices have been developed to address difficult intubation, in this case, fiberoptic bronchoscopy was the only applicable safe alternative because of the patient’s extremely severe chin on chest deformity and temporomandibular joint disease. We report a successful awake fiberoptic bronchoscopic intubation in a patient with extremely severe AS and recommend that the catheter placement should be confirmed with radiology to ensure proper positioning for severe AS patients.
PMCID: PMC4723983  PMID: 26885138
Ankylosing spondylitis; azygos vein; central venous catheters; difficult airway
2.  Airway management in a patient of ankylosing spondylitis with traumatic cervical spine injury 
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia  2015;9(3):327-329.
Traumatic cervical lesions compressing the spinal cord pose a significant risk of exacerbating the existing neurological condition during tracheal intubation and subsequent positioning. Preexisting ankylosing spondylitis with spinal column involvement renders the spinal column more rigid and introduces difficulty in airway management of the patient with traumatic cervical spinal cord. To improve ease and success, and reduce cervical spine movement, awake fibreoptic intubation (FOI) is considered the gold standard technique for airway management in such cases. Attaining appropriate position for intubation was challenge in this case due to rigid curvature of the ankylosed spinal column. To prevent neurological injury to the spinal cord and preserve spinal cord function, minimizing movement during intubation and attaining appropriate position was of prime concern. Optimal sedation with self-positioning by the patient in a comfortable posture is quite imperative and assures both airway as well as neurological protection in such expected difficult situations. We report the use of dexmedetomidine for self-positioning and awake FOI in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis having traumatic cervical spine who was otherwise neither able to co-operative nor able to give appropriate position for FOI.
PMCID: PMC4478831  PMID: 26240557
Ankylosing spondylitis; cervico-dorsal trauma; dexmedetomidine; difficult airway
3.  Dexmedetomidine for an awake fiber-optic intubation of a parturient with Klippel-Feil syndrome, Type I Arnold Chiari malformation and status post released tethered spinal cord presenting for repeat cesarean section 
Clinics and Practice  2011;1(3):e57.
Patients with Klippel-Feil Syndrome (KFS) have congenital fusion of their cervical vertebrae due to a failure in the normal segmentation of the cervical vertebrae during the early weeks of gestation and also have myriad of other associated anomalies. Because of limited neck mobility, airway management in these patients can be a challenge for the anesthesiologist. We describe a unique case in which a dexmedetomidine infusion was used as sedation for an awake fiber-optic intubation in a parturient with Klippel-Feil Syndrome, who presented for elective cesarean delivery. A 36-year-old female, G2P1A0 with KFS (fusion of cervical vertebrae) who had prior cesarean section for breech presentation with difficult airway management was scheduled for repeat cesarean delivery. After obtaining an informed consent, patient was taken in the operating room and non-invasive monitors were applied. Dexmedetomidine infusion was started and after adequate sedation, an awake fiber-optic intubation was performed. General anesthetic was administered after intubation and dexmedetomidine infusion was continued on maintenance dose until extubation. Klippel-Feil Syndrome (KFS) is a rare congenital disorder for which the true incidence is unknown, which makes it even rare to see a parturient with this disease. Patients with KFS usually have other congenital abnormalities as well, sometimes including the whole thoraco-lumbar spine (Type III) precluding the use of neuraxial anesthesia for these patients. Obstetric patients with KFS can present unique challenges in administering anesthesia and analgesia, primarily as it relates to the airway and dexmedetomidine infusion has shown promising result to manage the airway through awake fiberoptic intubation without any adverse effects on mother and fetus.
PMCID: PMC3981373  PMID: 24765318
Klippel-Feil syndrome; dexmedetomidine; awake fiberoptic intubation; cesarean section.
4.  Deformity planning for sagittal plane corrective osteotomies of the spine in ankylosing spondylitis 
European Spine Journal  2000;9(6):492-498.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) may lead to a severe fixed thoracolumbar kyphotic deformity (TLKD) of the spine. In a few patients, the TLKD is so extreme that a corrective osteotomy of the spine may be considered. Several authors have reported the results of patients treated by a lumbar osteotomy, but there is no consensus on the level of the osteotomy and on the exact degree of correction required. This can be explained by the lack of quantification of the sagittal plane deformity, since compensation mechanisms of the lower extremities have to be reckoned with for the assessment of spinal sagittal balance in AS. Therefore, there is a need for a method of deformity planning for sagittal plane corrective osteotomies of the spine in AS. In this study, a biomechanical analysis and a newly developed planning procedure are presented and illustrated with two cases of AS. Sagittal balance of the spine was defined in relation to the physiologic sacral end plate angle using trigonometric terms. Nomograms were constructed to show the relationship between the correction angle, horizontal position of the C7 plumb line and the level of the spinal osteotomy. The surgical results of two patients were retrospectively analyzed with our method. It showed that the effect of a spinal osteotomy on the horizontal position of the C7 plumb line depends on the combination of correction angle and the level of osteotomy. In one patient, the achieved correction of the deformity proved to correct the sagittal spinal balance and the pelvic sacral endplate angle. In the other patient, the achieved correction was not sufficient. It is concluded that adequate deformity planning for sagittal plane corrective osteotomies of the spine in AS is essential for reliable prediction of the effect of a lumbar osteotomy on the correction of the spine.
PMCID: PMC3611428  PMID: 11189917
Key words Ankylosing spondylitis; Osteotomy; Spine; Methods
5.  Airway management in Escobar syndrome: A formidable challenge 
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  2013;57(6):603-605.
Escobar syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by flexion joint and digit contractures, skin webbing, cleft palate, deformity of spine and cervical spine fusion. Associated difficult airway is mainly due to micrognathia, retrognathia, webbing of neck and limitation of the mouth opening and neck extension. We report a case of a 1 year old child with Escobar syndrome posted for bilateral hamstrings to quadriceps transfer. The child had adequate mouth opening with no evidence of cervical spine fusion, yet we faced difficulty in intubation which was ultimately overcome by securing a proseal laryngeal mask airway (PLMA) and then by intubating with an endotracheal tube railroaded over a paediatric fibreoptic bronchoscope passed through the lumen of a PLMA.
PMCID: PMC3883398  PMID: 24403623
Difficult airway; Escobar syndrome; proseal laryngeal mask airway
6.  Topical airway anesthesia for awake fiberoptic intubation: Comparison between airway nerve blocks and nebulized lignocaine by ultrasonic nebulizer 
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia  2014;8(Suppl 1):S15-S19.
Awake fiberoptic bronchoscope (FOB) guided intubation is the gold standard of airway management in patients with cervical spine injury. It is essential to sufficiently anesthetize the upper airway before the performance of awake FOB guided intubation in order to ensure patient comfort and cooperation. This randomized controlled study was performed to compare two methods of airway anesthesia, namely ultrasonic nebulization of local anesthetic and performance of airway blocks.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 50 adult patients with cervical spine injury were randomly allocated into two groups. Group L received airway anesthesia through ultrasonic nebulization of 10 ml of 4% lignocaine and Group NB received airway blocks (bilateral superior laryngeal and transtracheal recurrent laryngeal) each with 2 ml of 2% lignocaine and viscous lignocaine gargles. FOB guided orotracheal intubation was then performed. Hemodynamic variables at baseline and during the procedure, patient recall, vocal cord visibility, ease of intubation, coughing/gagging episodes, and signs of lignocaine toxicity were noted.
The observations did not reveal any significant differences in demographics or hemodynamic parameters at any time during the study. However, the time taken for intubation was significantly lower in Group NB as compared with the Group L. Group L had an increased number of coughing/gagging episodes as compared with Group NB. Vocal cord visibility and ease of intubation were better in patients who received airway blocks and hence the amount of supplemental lignocaine used was less in this group. Overall patient comfort was better in Group NB with fewer incidences of unpleasant recalls as compared with Group L.
Upper airway blocks provide better quality of anesthesia than lignocaine nebulization as assessed by patient recall of procedure, coughing/gagging episodes, ease of intubation, vocal cord visibility, and time taken to intubate.
PMCID: PMC4268521  PMID: 25538514
Airway management; bronchoscopy; laryngeal nerves; lidocaine; nebulizers
7.  Comparison between remifentanil and dexmedetomidine for sedation during modified awake fiberoptic intubation 
Cricothyroid membrane injections and the application of a coarse fiberoptic bronchoscope (FOB) below the vocal cords for topical anesthesia have a number of limitations for certain patients. Thus, the aim of the present observational study was to assess the effect of a novel modified topical anesthesia method using the effective sedation drugs, remifentanil (Rem) or dexmedetomidine (Dex), during awake fiberoptic orotracheal intubation (AFOI). In total, 90 adult patients, who had been classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists I–II, were included in the study. The patients had anticipated difficult airways and were to undergo orotracheal intubation for elective surgery. The patients were enrolled in the double-blinded randomized pilot study and received Rem or Dex for sedation during the modified AFOI procedure. The two groups received 2% lidocaine for topical anesthesia via an epidural catheter, which was threaded through the suction channel of the FOB. The main clinical outcomes were evaluated by graded scores representing the conditions for intubation and post-intubation. Additional parameters analyzed included airway obstruction, hemodynamic changes, time required for intubation, amnesia level and subjective satisfaction. All 90 patients were successfully intubated using the modified AFOI technique. The comfort scores and airway events during intubation did not significantly differ between the two groups. However, the Rem group experienced less coughing, and less time was required for tracheal intubation when compared with the Dex group. No statistically significant differences were observed in the changes to the mean arterial pressure and heart rate at any time point between the two groups. Therefore, the current study demonstrated that the modified AFOI method is feasible and effective for difficult airway management, and that Dex and Rem exhibit similar efficacy as adjuvant therapies.
PMCID: PMC4353735  PMID: 25780419
remifentanil; dexmedetomidine; local anesthesia; awake fiberoptic intubation
8.  Fluoroscopy guided transforaminal epidural anesthesia in ankylosing spondylitis 
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia  2016;10(1):101-103.
A 48-year-old male patient with a long-standing history of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) presented for ureteroscopic stone removal. On preoperative assessment, tracheal intubation was likely to be difficult due to decreased cervical spine mobility. Traditional neuraxial block was impossible due to the fusion of vertebral bodies. AS patients present the most serious array of intubation, which is secondary to decrease in cervical spine mobility and possible temporomandibular joint disease. Management of a case of AS can be very challenging when the airway and the central neuraxial blockade, both are difficult. Fluoroscopic assisted central neuraxial blockade may lead to predictable success in AS. We present a case report with severe AS where conventional techniques failed and C-arm assisted helped in successful epidural anesthesia for ureteroscopic stone removal.
PMCID: PMC4760027  PMID: 26955319
Ankylosing spondylitis; fluoroscopy; transforaminal epidural anesthesia
9.  Fiberoptic intubation through laryngeal mask airway for management of difficult airway in a child with Klippel–Feil syndrome 
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia  2014;8(3):412-414.
The ideal airway management modality in pediatric patients with syndromes like Klippel-Feil syndrome is a great challenge and is technically difficult for an anesthesiologist. Half of the patients present with the classic triad of short neck, low hairline, and fusion of cervical vertebra. Numerous associated anomalies like scoliosis or kyphosis, cleft palate, respiratory problems, deafness, genitourinary abnormalities, Sprengel's deformity (wherein the scapulae ride high on the back), synkinesia, cervical ribs, and congenital heart diseases may further add to the difficulty. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy alone can be technically difficult and patient cooperation also becomes very important, which is difficult in pediatric patients. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy with the aid of supraglottic airway devices is a viable alternative in the management of difficult airway in children. We report a case of Klippel-Feil syndrome in an 18-month-old girl posted for cleft palate surgery. Imaging of spine revealed complete fusion of the cervical vertebrae with hypoplastic C3 and C6 vertebrae and thoracic kyphosis. We successfully managed airway in this patient by fiberoptic intubation through classic laryngeal mask airway (LMA). After intubation, we used second smaller endotracheal tube (ETT) to stabilize and elongate the first ETT while removing the LMA.
PMCID: PMC4141399  PMID: 25191201
Fiberoptic intubation; Klippel-Feil syndrome; laryngeal mask airway; The ideal airway management modality in pediatric patients with syndromes like Klippel-Feil syndrome is a great challenge and is technically difficult for an anesthesiologist. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy alone can be technically difficult and patient cooperation also becomes very important, which is difficult in pediatric patients. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy with the aid of supraglottic airway devices is a viable alternative in the management of difficult airway in children
10.  Airway management in cervical spine ankylosing spondylitis: Between a rock and a hard place 
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  2013;57(6):592-595.
We report the perioperative course of a patient with long standing ankylosing spondylitis with severe dysphagia due to large anterior cervical syndesmophytes at the level of the epiglottis. He was scheduled to undergo anterior cervical decompression and the surgical approach possibly precluded an elective pre-operative tracheostomy. We performed a modified awake fibreoptic nasal intubation through a split nasopharyngeal airway while adequate oxygenation was ensured through a modified nasal trumpet inserted in the other nares. We discuss the role of nasal intubations and the use of both the modified nasopharyngeal airways we used to facilitate tracheal intubation. This modified nasal fibreoptic intubation technique could find the application in other patients with cervical spine abnormalities and in other anticipated difficult airways.
PMCID: PMC3883395  PMID: 24403620
Airways; airways - difficult anticipated; co-existing diseases - ankylosing spondylitis; diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis; fiberoptic; intubation; intubation - awake; modified nasal trumpet; nasal; nasal - airway; split nasopharyngeal airway
11.  Safe intubation in Morquio-Brailsford syndrome: A challenge for the anesthesiologist 
Morquio-Brailsford syndrome is a type of mucopolysaccharidoses. It is a rare disease with features of short stature, atlantoaxial instability with risk of cord damage, odontoid hypoplasia, pectus carinatum, spine deformities, hepatomegaly, and restrictive lung disease. Neck movements during intubation are associated with the risk of quadriparesis due to cervical instability. This, along with the distortion of the airway anatomy due to deposition of mucopolysaccharides makes airway management arduous. We present our experience in management of difficult airway in a 3-year-old girl with Morquio-Brailsford syndrome posted for magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography scan of a suspected unstable cervical spine. As utmost sagacity during intubation is required, the child was intubated inside operation theatre in the presence of experienced anesthesiologists and then shifted to the peripheral location. Intubation was done with an endotracheal tube railroaded over a pediatric fibreoptic bronchoscope passed through the lumen of a classic laryngeal mask airway, keeping head in neutral position.
PMCID: PMC3713682  PMID: 23878456
Cervical instability; classic laryngeal mask airway; cord damage; difficult airway
12.  Airway management of patients with traumatic brain injury/C-spine injury 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2015;68(3):213-219.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is usually combined with cervical spine (C-spine) injury. The possibility of C-spine injury is always considered when performing endotracheal intubation in these patients. Rapid sequence intubation is recommended with adequate sedative or analgesics and a muscle relaxant to prevent an increase in intracranial pressure during intubation in TBI patients. Normocapnia and mild hyperoxemia should be maintained to prevent secondary brain injury. The manual-in-line-stabilization (MILS) technique effectively lessens C-spine movement during intubation. However, the MILS technique can reduce mouth opening and lead to a poor laryngoscopic view. The newly introduced video laryngoscope can manage these problems. The AirWay Scope® (AWS) and AirTraq laryngoscope decreased the extension movement of C-spines at the occiput-C1 and C2-C4 levels, improving intubation conditions and shortening the time to complete tracheal intubation compared with a direct laryngoscope. The Glidescope® also decreased cervical movement in the C2-C5 levels during intubation and improved vocal cord visualization, but a longer duration was required to complete intubation compared with other devices. A lightwand also reduced cervical motion across all segments. A fiberoptic bronchoscope-guided nasal intubation is the best method to reduce cervical movement, but a skilled operator is required. In conclusion, a video laryngoscope assists airway management in TBI patients with C-spine injury.
PMCID: PMC4452663  PMID: 26045922
Airway management; Cervical cord; Intubation; Traumatic brain injury
13.  Factors that Correlate with the Decision to Delay Extubation Following Multi-Level Prone Spine Surgery 
Multi-level spinal decompressions and fusions often require long anesthetic and operative times which may result in airway edema and prolonged post-operative intubation. Delayed extubation can lead to broncho-pulmonary infections and other complications. This study analyzed which factors correlated with the decision to delay extubation after multilevel spine surgery.
We reviewed the records of 289 patients having multilevel spine surgery lasting 8 hours or more in the prone position from 2006 to 2012. Variables hypothesized to affect the decision of the anesthesiologist to delay extubation at the end of the surgery were collected. These included preoperative factors (age, gender, ASA Class, history of obstructive sleep apnea, BMI, previous spine surgery, current cervical surgery, anterior in addition to posterior spine surgery, emergency surgery), and intraoperative factors (difficult intubation, number of surgical levels, case time, estimated blood loss, fluid and blood administration, attending handoff and resident handoff, and case end time). We also compared the incidence of pulmonary post-operative complications between patients extubated at the end of the case to patients who had a delayed extubation.
126 patients (44%) were kept intubated after multilevel spine surgery. Multiple linear regression analysis showed factors that correlated with prolonged intubation included age, ASA Class, procedure duration, extent of surgery, total crystalloid volume administered, total blood volume administered, and the case end time. Patients who had a delayed extubation had a threefold higher rate of post-operative pneumonia.
Our study finds that age, ASA class, procedure duration, extent of surgery, and total crystalloid and blood volume administered correlate with the decision to delay extubation in multilevel prone spine surgery. It also finds that the time that the case ends is an independent variable that correlates with the decision not to extubate at the end of a long multi-level spinal surgery. The incidence of post-operative pneumonia is higher in patients who had a delayed extubation after surgery.
PMCID: PMC3947688  PMID: 24296539
14.  Sitting Nasal Intubation With Fiberoptic in an Elective Mandible Surgery Under General Anesthesia 
Patients with mandible deformity may die, as a result of airway management failures. The awake nasal fiberoptic intubation is known as the optimum intubation method, in the mentioned patients, although, in several cases, fiberoptic intubation fails.
Case Presentation:
The present case discusses a patient with severe deformity of mandible that was admitted for correction with free-flap. The following intubation techniques were used for her airway management, respectively: blind awake nasal intubation, awake oral fiberoptic and awake nasal fiberoptic, which failed all. We therefore decided to perform awake nasal intubation, with fiberoptic, in sitting position.
In this case, after failure of awake fiberoptic intubation, awake direct laryngoscopy and blind nasal intubation, finally awake nasal intubation in sitting position, using fiberoptic led to success.
PMCID: PMC4688808  PMID: 26705521
Airway Management; Endotracheal Intubation; Fiber Optic Technology; Free Flaps; Intubation
15.  Surgical outcome after spinal fractures in patients with ankylosing spondylitis 
Ankylosing spondylitis is a rheumatic disease in which spinal and sacroiliac joints are mainly affected. There is a gradual bone formation in the spinal ligaments and ankylosis of the spinal diarthroses which lead to stiffness of the spine.
The diffuse paraspinal ossification and inflammatory osteitis of advanced Ankylosing spondylitis creates a fused, brittle spine that is susceptible to fracture. The aim of this study is to present the surgical experience of spinal fractures occurring in patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis and to highlight the difficulties that exist as far as both diagnosis and surgical management are concerned.
Twenty patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis were operated due to a spinal fracture. The fracture was located at the cervical spine in 7 cases, at the thoracic spine in 9, at the thoracolumbar junction in 3 and at the lumbar spine in one case. Neurological defects were revealed in 10 patients. In four of them, neurological signs were progressively developed after a time period of 4 to 15 days. The initial radiological study was negative for a spinal fracture in twelve patients. Every patient was assessed at the time of admission and daily until the day of surgery, then postoperatively upon discharge.
Combined anterior and posterior approaches were performed in three patients with only posterior approaches performed on the rest. Spinal fusion was seen in 100% of the cases. No intra-operative complications occurred. There was one case in which superficial wound inflammation occurred. Loosening of posterior screws without loss of stability appeared in two patients with cervical injuries.
Frankel neurological classification was used in order to evaluate the neurological status of the patients. There was statistically significant improvement of Frankel neurological classification between the preoperative and postoperative evaluation. 35% of patients showed improvement due to the operation performed.
The operative treatment of these injuries is useful and effective. It usually succeeds the improvement of the patients' neurological status. Taking into consideration the cardiovascular problems that these patients have, anterior and posterior stabilization aren't always possible. In these cases, posterior approach can be performed and give excellent results, while total operation time, blood loss and other possible complications are decreased.
PMCID: PMC2745354  PMID: 19646282
16.  Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in patients with anesthetic problems 
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a standard operation for benign gallbladder disease. As experience with laparoscopic cholecystectomy has increased, the procedure has become possible in patients with anesthetic problems. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis or severe kyphosis represent a challenging group to anesthesiologists and laparoscopic surgeons since these diseases are associated with difficult intubation, restrictive ventilatory defects, and cardiac problems. The relatively new approach of awake fiberoptic intubation is considered to be the safest option for patients with anticipated airway difficulties. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is usually performed under general anesthesia but considerable difficulties in anesthetic management are encountered during laparoscopic surgery; for example, hemodynamic instability may develop in patients with cardiopulmonary dysfunction due to pneumoperitoneum and position changes during the operation. Nonetheless, regional anesthesia can be considered as a valid option for patients with gallbladder disease who are poor candidates for general anesthesia due to cardiopulmonary problems. We report three cases of laparoscopic cholecystectomy successfully performed in patients with anesthetic problems that included cardiopulmonary disease, severe kyphosis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
PMCID: PMC3732860  PMID: 23922485
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy; Kyphosis; Ankylosing spondylitis; Anesthetic problems
17.  Cuffed Oropharyngeal Airway for Difficult Airway Management 
Anesthesia Progress  2014;61(3):107-110.
Difficulties with airway management are often caused by anatomic abnormalities due to previous oral surgery. We performed general anesthesia for a patient who had undergone several operations such as hemisection of the mandible and reconstructive surgery with a deltopectoralis flap, resulting in severe maxillofacial deformation. This made it impossible to ventilate with a face mask and to intubate in the normal way. An attempt at oral awake intubation using fiberoptic bronchoscopy was unsuccessful because of severe anatomical abnormality of the neck. We therefore decided to perform retrograde intubation and selected the cuffed oropharyngeal airway (COPA) for airway management. We inserted the COPA, not through the patient's mouth but through the abnormal oropharyngeal space. Retrograde nasal intubation was accomplished with controlled ventilation through the COPA, which proved to be very useful for this difficult airway management during tracheal intubation even though the method was unusual.
PMCID: PMC4156373  PMID: 25191984
Cuffed oropharyngeal airway; Difficult airway management
18.  Severe lingual tonsillar hypertrophy and the rationale supporting early use of wire-guided retrograde intubation 
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia  2010;4(2):102-104.
An expanding body of literature exists which describes the airway challenges and management options for lingual tonsillar hypertrophy (LTH). The use of retrograde intubation to secure a patient‘s airway in the setting of LTH has been previously unreported and should be considered early in the event of a cannot intubate, cannot ventilate scenario. A 55-year-old man, who had previously been described as an easy intubation, presented an unexpected cannot intubate, cannot ventilate scenario secondary to LTH. Various noninvasive airway maneuvers were attempted to restore ventilation without success. We describe the advantages of early use of wire-guided retrograde intubation as an alternative to a surgical airway for obtaining a secure airway in a patient with LTH, in whom noninvasive airway management maneuvers have failed. Multiple different noninvasive approaches to management of LTH have been previously described including the laryngeal tube, laryngeal mask airway, and fiberoptic bronchoscopy. Unfortunately, none of these noninvasive airway maneuvers successfully ventilated this patient and an invasive airway became necessary. Retrograde intubation is a less invasive alternative to the surgical airway with potentially less risk for complications. Retrograde intubation may be particularly effective in the setting of LTH as it may stent open an otherwise occluded airway and allow passage of an endotracheal tube. Skillful use of this technique should be considered early as a viable option in any case of unexpected difficult intubation due to LTH.
PMCID: PMC2945505  PMID: 20927270
Lingual tonsillar hypertrophy; retrograde intubation; difficult intubation
19.  C7 decancellisation closing wedge osteotomy for the correction of fixed cervico-thoracic kyphosis 
European Spine Journal  2007;16(9):1471-1478.
Our objective is to report on the clinical and radiological outcome following a decancellisation closing wedge osteotomy for the correction of fixed cervico-thoracic kyphosis in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. The only treatment available for severe fixed flexion deformity of the cervical spine in these patients is an extension osteotomy. Traditionally an anterior opening, posterior closing wedge osteotomy is performed with or without internal fixation. We describe a decancellisation closing wedge osteotomy of C7 accompanied by secure segmental internal fixation. Eight patients operated between 1990 and 2003 with mean age of 54 years and minimum follow up of 2 years were retrospectively evaluated. Restoration of normal forward gaze was achieved in all patients. No patient suffered spinal cord injury or permanent nerve root palsy. There was no loss of correction or pseudarthrosis at final follow up. C7 decancellisation closing wedge osteotomy supplemented with secure segmental internal fixation in experienced hands provides a safe and effective treatment for fixed cervico-thoracic kyphosis in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
PMCID: PMC2200755  PMID: 17334795
Cervico-thoracic kyphosis; Cervical osteotomy; Segmental fixation; Ankylosing spondylitis
20.  Cervical osteotomy for ankylosing spondylitis: an innovative variation on an existing technique 
European Spine Journal  1999;8(6):505-509.
Ankylosing spondylitis can produce severe fixed flexion deformity in the cervical spine. This deformity may be so disabling that it interferes with forward vision, chewing, swallowing and skin care under the chin. The only treatment available is an extension osteotomy of the cervical spine. Existing techniques of cervical osteotomy may be associated with risk of neurological injury. We describe a variation on an existing technique, which provides a controlled method of reduction at the osteotomy site, eliminating sagittal translation. The method employs a modular posterior cervical system consisting of lateral mass and thoracic pedicle screws linked to titanium rods. Our technique substitutes the titanium rod with a temporary malleable rod on one side, allowing controlled reduction of the osteotomy as this rod bends and slides through the thoracic clamps. Once reduction is complete definitive contoured rods are inserted to maintain the correction while fusion takes place. This method appears less hazardous by eliminating sagittal translation, and may reduce the risk of neurological injury during surgery. It achieves rigid internal fixation, obviating the need for a halo vest in the postoperative period.
PMCID: PMC3611206  PMID: 10664313
Key words Cervical osteotomy; Ankylosing spondylitis; Internal fixation
21.  ASKyphoplan: a program for deformity planning in ankylosing spondylitis 
European Spine Journal  2007;16(9):1445-1449.
A closing wedge osteotomy of the lumbar spine may be considered to correct posture and spinal balance in progressive thoracolumbar kyphotic deformity caused by ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Adequate deformity planning is essential for reliable prediction of the effect of surgical correction of the spine on the sagittal balance and horizontal gaze of the patient. The effect of a spinal osteotomy on the horizontal gaze is equal to the osteotomy angle. However, the effect of a spinal osteotomy on the sagittal balance depends on both the correction angle and the level of osteotomy simultaneously. The relation between the correction angle, the level of osteotomy and the sagittal balance of the spine can be expressed by a mathematical equation. However, this mathematical equation is not easily used in daily practice. We present the computer program ASKyphoplan that analyses and visualizes the planning procedure for sagittal plane corrective osteotomies of the spine in AS. The relationship between the planned correction angle, level of osteotomy and sagittal balance are coupled into the program. The steps taken during an ASKyphoplan run are outlined, and the clinical application is discussed. The application of the program is illustrated by the analysis of the data from a patient recently treated by a lumbar osteotomy in AS. The software can be used free of charge on the internet at under the heading “research” in the menu.
PMCID: PMC2200734  PMID: 17440752
Ankylosing spondylitis; Osteotomy; Spine; Computer program; Deformity planning
22.  Case Report: Spinal Anesthesia by Mini-laminotomy for a Patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis who was Difficult to Anesthetize 
Orthopaedic surgeons frequently encounter patients with ankylosing spondylitis who would benefit from various types of lower limb operations; however, some of these patients present challenges for anesthesiologists.
Case Description
We report the case of a 65-year-old patient with a fractured femoral component 30 years after a cemented THA. The patient had severe tracheal stenosis and ankylosing spondylitis making general endotracheal and conventional neuraxial anesthesia nearly impossible.
Literature Review
Possible alternative anesthetic approaches described in the literature include awake fiberoptic bronchoscopic guided intubation, laryngeal mask airway, and caudal anesthesia.
Purposes and Clinical Relevance
We achieved successful anesthesia using spinal laminotomy with the patient under local anesthesia followed by insertion of a spinal catheter and injection of an anesthetic agent. The loosened component was revised to a cementless THA.
PMCID: PMC2974874  PMID: 20300899
23.  Case Report: Spinal Anesthesia by Mini-laminotomy for a Patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis who was Difficult to Anesthetize 
Orthopaedic surgeons frequently encounter patients with ankylosing spondylitis who would benefit from various types of lower limb operations; however, some of these patients present challenges for anesthesiologists.
Case Description
We report the case of a 65-year-old patient with a fractured femoral component 30 years after a cemented THA. The patient had severe tracheal stenosis and ankylosing spondylitis making general endotracheal and conventional neuraxial anesthesia nearly impossible.
Literature Review
Possible alternative anesthetic approaches described in the literature include awake fiberoptic bronchoscopic guided intubation, laryngeal mask airway, and caudal anesthesia.
Purposes and Clinical Relevance
We achieved successful anesthesia using spinal laminotomy with the patient under local anesthesia followed by insertion of a spinal catheter and injection of an anesthetic agent. The loosened component was revised to a cementless THA.
PMCID: PMC2974874  PMID: 20300899
24.  Surgical Outcomes after Traumatic Vertebral Fractures in Patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis 
Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory rheumatic disease mainly affecting the axial skeleton. The rigid spine may secondarily develop osteoporosis, further increasing the risk of spinal fracture. In this study, we reviewed fractures in patients with ankylosing spondylitis that had been clinically diagnosed to better define the mechanism of injury, associated neurological deficit, predisposing factors, and management strategies.
Between January 2003 and December 2013, 12 patients with 13 fractures with neurological complications were treated. Neuroimaging evaluation was obtained in all patients by using plain radiography, CT scan, and MR imaging. The ASIA Impairment Scale was used in order to evaluate the neurologic status of the patients. Management was based on the presence or absence of spinal instability.
A total of 9 cervical and 4 thoracolumbar fractures were identified in a review of patients in whom ankylosing spondylitis had been diagnosed. Of these, 7 fractures were associated with a hyperextension mechanism. 10 cases resulted in a fracture by minor trauma. Posttraumatic neurological deficits were demonstrated in 11 cases and neurological improvement after surgery was observed in 5 of these cases.
Patients with ankylosing spondylitis are highly susceptible to spinal fracture and spinal cord injury even after only mild trauma. Initial CT or MR imaging of the whole spine is recommended even if the patient's symptoms are mild. The patient should also have early surgical stabilization to correct spinal deformity and avoid worsening of the patient's neurological status.
PMCID: PMC4200357  PMID: 25328647
Ankylosing spondylitis; Trauma; Vertebral fracture; Spinal cord injury; Surgery
25.  Lumbar osteotomy for correction of thoracolumbar kyphotic deformity in ankylosing spondylitis. A structured review of three methods of treatment 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1999;58(7):399-406.
OBJECTIVES—Three operative techniques have been described to correct thoracolumbar kyphotic deformity (TLKD) resulting from ankylosing spondylitis (AS) at the level of the lumbar spine: opening wedge osteotomy, polysegmental wedge osteotomies, and closing wedge osteotomy. Little knowledge exists on the indication for, and outcome of these corrective lumbar osteotomies.
METHODS—A structured review of the medical literature was performed.
RESULTS—A search of the literature revealed 856 patients reported in 41 articles published between 1945 and 1998. The mean age at time of operation was 41 years, male-female ratio 7.5 to 1. In 451 patients an open wedge osteotomy was performed. Polysegmental wedge osteotomies were performed in 249 patients and a closing wedge osteotomy in 156 patients. Most of the studies primarily focus on the surgical technique. Technical outcome data were poorly reported. Sixteen reports, including 523 patients, met the inclusion criteria of this study, and could be analysed for technical outcome data. The average correction achieved with each surgical techniques ranged from 37 to 40 degrees. Loss of correction was mainly reported in patients treated by open wedge osteotomy and polysegmental wedge osteotomies. Neurological complications were reported in all three techniques. The perioperative mortality was 4%. Pulmonary, cardiac and intestinal problems were found to be the major cause of fatal complications.
CONCLUSION—Lumbar osteotomy for correction of TLKD resulting from AS is a major surgery. The indication for these lumbar osteotomies as well as the degree of correction in the lumbar spine has not yet been established. Furthermore, there is a need for a generally accepted clinical score that encompasses accurate preoperative and postoperative assessment of the spinal deformity. The results of this review suggest that the data from the literature are not suitable for decision making with regard to surgical treatment of TLKD resulting from AS.

PMCID: PMC1752916  PMID: 10381482

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