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Table of Contents
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 128-130

Fiber optic intubation of a neonate with Syngnathia under local anesthesia and sedation

Department of Anesthesiology, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication4-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kirti Nath Saxena
Department of Anesthesiology, Maulana Azad medical College and Associated Lok Nayak Hospital, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi - 110 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.175729

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How to cite this article:
Saxena KN, Goel V, Taneja B, Gaba P. Fiber optic intubation of a neonate with Syngnathia under local anesthesia and sedation. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2016;32:128-30

How to cite this URL:
Saxena KN, Goel V, Taneja B, Gaba P. Fiber optic intubation of a neonate with Syngnathia under local anesthesia and sedation. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 7];32:128-30. Available from:


A 28-day-old child weighing 2.6 kg presented to the pediatric surgeon with complete fusion of upper and lower gums since birth [Figure 1]. Computed tomography scan of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) showed reduced bilateral TMJ space with a fibrous fusion of maxilla and mandible, more on the left side. The TM joints were not ankylosed. There was also micrognathia with retrognathia and right sided cleft in bony palate.
Figure 1: Reduced mouth opening in the infant

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The child was posted for the release of fibrous synechiae under general anesthesia. She was shifted to the operation theater, with intravenous (IV) line in situ. General anesthesia was planned after nasal fiber optic intubation with local anesthesia and sedation. She was preoxygenated with 100% oxygen for 5 min and injection glycopyrrolate 10 mcg/kg and injection fentanyl 1 mcg/kg were administered intravenously. Local anesthesia was achieved using a nasal MADgic mucosal atomizer device spray with 0.5% lignocaine injected through it. A size 3.0 flexometallic endotracheal tube (ETT) was lubricated well with lignocaine gel and passed through the right naris. Fiber optic intubation was undertaken with a 2.8 mm size fiberscope (KARL STORZ) having a suction channel and an injection port. The fiberscope was passed through the ETT and a "spray as you go technique" was used to anesthetize the upper airway. The vocal cords were visualized, sprayed with 0.5% lignocaine and the fiberscope passed into the trachea until the carina was visualized. The pediatric circuit was attached and after checking for capnographic trace and movement of reservoir bag with respiration, the patient was anesthetized with a mixture of oxygen, nitrous oxide, sevoflurane, and atracurium. Using osteotomes, release of fibrous synechiae was undertaken, mouth opening created and the raw area over the right half of gums was left to heal. The anesthesia was reversed uneventfully.

Congenital fusion of the gums is extremely rare and can be of different degrees - mucosal synechiae, fibrous synechiae, and complete bony fusion (syngnathism). [1] It may be associated with other congenital defects such as aglossia, facial hemiatrophy, retrognathia, and cleft palate as were present in our case. Treatment requires surgical separation and depends on the type of fusion. Local anesthesia and intermittent general anesthesia by face mask have been used for mucosal synechiae-release under circumstances where fiber optic intubation was not available. [1],[2]

Airway and ventilatory management for surgical separation of the fused jaws under general anesthesia presents severe problems as the laryngeal inlet is very small. Repeated attempts at intubation can injure the delicate airway tissues leading to the emergency requirement of the surgical airway, which by itself is a daunting task in an infant. Seraj et al. [3] used a technique where after induction of the patient with ketamine, a nasopharyngeal airway was inserted, and general anesthesia delivered through a breathing circuit attached to it with the patient breathing spontaneously.

Nasal fiber optic intubation is the technique of choice for difficult airway management. Alfery et al. [4] described a technique where a neonate with congenital fusion of gums was given local anesthesia and IV ketamine given in boluses while Lonnée et al. used general anesthesia with sevoflurane to successfully perform nasal fiber optic intubation. [5] Having successfully performed oral intubation under local anesthesia and sedation in an infant with an oral mass we decided to use a similar technique. [6]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Parkins GE, Boamah MO. Congenital maxillomandibular syngnathia: Case report. J Craniomaxillofac Surg 2009;37: 276-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chiabi A, Tchokoteu PF, Andze G, Boubakary S, Fouapon V, Minkande Ze J, et al. Isolated congenital fusion of the gums. Afr J Paediatr Surg 2008;5:90-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Seraj MA, Yousif M, Channa AB. Anaesthetic management of congenital fusion of the jaws in a neonate. Anaesthesia 1984;39:695-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Alfery DD, Ward CF, Harwood IR, Mannino FL. Airway management for a neonate with congenital fusion of the jaws. Anesthesiology 1979;51:340-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
Lonnée H, Rashad A, Rahimi GR, Labat F. Airway management of an infant presenting with sygnathia for surgical correction. Open J Anesthesiol 2013;3:35-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
Saxena KN, Bansal P. Endotracheal intubation under local anesthesia and sedation in an infant with difficult airway. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2012;28:358-60.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  


  [Figure 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Congenital Maxillomandibular Syngnathia: Review of Literature and Proposed New Classification System
Vijay Kumar,Vidya Rattan,Sachin Rai
Journal of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery. 2019;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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