Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 299-304

A feasibility study to assess vallecula and pyriform sinus using protocol-based ultrasonic evaluation of floor of mouth and upper airway

1 Department of Radiology, BPS Government Medical College, Sonepat, Haryana, India
2 Department of Anaesthesia, BPS Government Medical College, Sonepat, Haryana, India
3 Department of Anaesthesia, SGRDIMSR, Sri Amritsar, Punjab, India
4 Department of Physiology, BPS Government Medical College, Sonepat, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Saru Singh
B-7, BPS GMC Campus, BPS Government Medical College for Women, Khanpur Kalan, Sonepat - 131 305, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.206799

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Purpose: The current study aimed to systematically evaluate the sonoanatomy of floor of the mouth and upper airway using protocol-based ultrasonography (USG); and to assess the feasibility of imaging the valleculae and pyriform fossae. Materials and Methods: An institutional prospective observational study was planned on fifty volunteers of all ages and both sexes, attending outpatient department for nonairway-related diseases. Protocol for ultrasonographic systemic evaluation was designed before starting the trial. All the patients were positioned supine with neck extended (sniffing position), seven steps of ultrasonographic protocol were followed and visualization of structures denoted in each step was documented. Furthermore, time taken to complete each scan was noted. Results: The USG was completed, and checklist successfully followed in all cases. Floor of mouth structures was easy to evaluate and visualized with ease in all the cases. Epiglottis was visualized in 100% cases in transverse plane. Valleculae and pyriform fossae were identified in 82% and 90% of the cases, respectively, and they appeared either as paired air-filled round structures or air-lined linear structures. Complete visualization of vocal cords was seen in 78% females and 63% males. The average time taken to complete the protocol-based study was 10.4 ± 1.4 min. Conclusions: Application of protocol-based USG for upper airway can allow the examination of structures from tongue to thyroid cartilage in a thorough, convenient, and timely manner. The air filled/lined structures such as valleculae, pyriform fossae, and vocal cords can be visualized in majority of the cases.

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