Continuous hypopharyngeal pH measurements in spontaneously breathing anesthetized outpatients: Laryngeal mask airway versus tracheal intubation

G. P. Joshi, S. G. Morrison, N. A. Okonkwo, P. F. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


We measured the hypopharyngeal pH to compare the incidence of regurgitation associated with the laryngeal mask airway (LMA) and the tracheal tube (TT) in spontaneously breathing, anesthetized patients. Sixty outpatients scheduled for elective peripheral surgery with a standardized general anesthetic technique were randomly allocated to receive either a LMA (n = 28) or a TT (n = 32) for airway management. A 4-mm pH electrode was placed in the hypopharynx, and pH values were continuously collected and stored in a portable pH data logger system until the end of the operation. There were no episodes of hypopharyngeal regurgitation (pH < 4) detected during the course of measurement. At no time did the hypopharyngeal pH value decrease below 5.5. The hypopharyngeal pH values in both groups weft similar, ranging between 5.5 and 7.5, with median values of 5.7 and 6.2 in the LMA and TT groups, respectively. The pH in any given patient did not vary more than 1.0 unit from the initial value recorded at the start of the operation. We conclude that continuous monitoring of the hypopharyngeal pH in spontaneously breathing, anesthetized outpatients failed to detect evidence of pharyngeal regurgitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 13 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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