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Last Updated 02/07/11
Optical Stylets

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Shikani Seeing Stylet , Bonfils fiberscope , Machida Portable Stylet Fiberscope , Video-Optical Intubation Stylet

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Fiberoptic and video technologies are now widely used for airway management and have been incorporated in many airway intubation devices. In the past decade there has been a growing interest in a new type of device called an intubating fibreoptic stylet ("optical stylet") for the management of difficult airways as evidenced by the introduction of at least 10 new optical stylet devices since 1995. Optical stylets incorporate fiberoptic imaging elements in an intubation stylet design. They are very appealing because they combine the viewing capability of fiberoptics with the familiar handling of a stylet. A review of the reports of clinical experience with optical stylets suggests they are useful and easy to learn. It seems likely that they will find an expanding role in the management of the difficult airway.

Commercially Available Fiberoptic Stylets

  • Shikani seeing stylet
  • Bonfils fiberscope
  • Machida Portable Stylet Fibersopce
  • Video-Optical Intubation Stylet

For those interested in the evolution of these optical stylets, or looking for a thorough description of their properties and an overview of their clinical performance, please refer to the review article on optical stylets (mentioned below) as well as a Powerpoint-like presentation implemented as a FlashPaper document (free Macromedia Flash player required.)

View the Presentation (FlashPaper)

View the Article in the British Journal of Anaesthesia (Adobe PDF document)

Reference Article List

  1. 1. Liem EB, Bjoraker DG, Gravenstein D. New Options for Airway Management: The Intubating Fibreoptic Stylets (review).
    Br J Anaesth. 2003 Sep; 91(3):408-418.