[Skip to Navigation]
January 1965

Spread of Local Anesthesia After Upper Airway Block

Author Affiliations

From the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Department of Surgery/ Anesthesiology.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;81(1):77-79. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00750050082017

Percutaneous topical anesthesia of the pharynx, larynx, and trachea was first described in 1920 by Canuyt.1 Since then, a number of reports have been published about the usefulness of this technique.2-5 In performing this block, two sites of injection are commonly used. In one approach the needle is introduced into the larynx through the cricothyroid membrane (translaryngeal block); in the other, the needle is introduced into the trachea between the first and second tracheal rings (transtracheal block) (Fig 1). Both techniques are currently used by


specialists in otolaryngology, thoracic surgery, and anesthesiology.

The purpose of this study is to describe the spread of local anesthetic solution in the upper airway following each type of block and to determine whether topical anesthesia is equally satisfactory in both techniques.

Method  One hundred adult patients scheduled for operations under endotracheal general anesthesia were chosen for this study. The patients were