Do we need new supraglottic devices? Clinical appraisal of the cuffed oropharyngeal airway (COPA)

A. Casati, G. Fanelli, E. Casaletti, G. Cappelleri, L. Magistris, G. Aldegheri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The laryngeal mask airway (LMA) has been widely studied for both conventional and nonconventional uses, while the literature on the cuffed oropharyngeal airway (COPA) is still limited. The purpose of this manuscript was to review the initial appraisal of efficacy, safety, effects on hemodynamics and respiratory function, induction agents and drug requirements of this new supraglottic device. METHODS: We reviewed main results of studies recently published on peer reviewed journals concerning the clinical uses of COPA. RESULTS: When used in healthy adults undergoing general anesthesia for routine minor procedures, the COPA and LMA are substantially equivalent. The LMA is associated with a higher first-time placement rate and fewer manipulations during usage, but the incidence of airway untoward events during COPA anesthesia is equivalent to that reported when using an LMA. The quality of breathing and capnography during COPA ventilation is similar to that provided by the LMA ventilation, with clinically relevant decrease in the physiological deadspace/tidal volume ratio and arterial to end-tidal CO2 tension difference compared with facemask ventilation. In selected patients without risk factors for regurgitation of gastric content, positive-pressure ventilation is similarly successful and safe with the COPA as with the LMA. The COPA seems to be less stimulating than LMA because it has been demonstrated to cause a lower incidence of pharyngeal trauma and sore throat in the immediate postoperative period, requires shorter exposure to an inhalational anesthetic and lower concentrations of propofol to be successfully placed, and is associated with lower effects on the patient's hemodynamic homeostasis than LMA. CONCLUSIONS: More extensive clinical evaluations should be advocated to better understand the risk/benefit ratio of this new supraglottic device; however, it may be concluded that in healthy adults receiving general anesthesia for short procedures the COPA allows for an effective and safe control of the patient's airway and ventilation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Do we need new supraglottic devices? Clinical appraisal of the cuffed oropharyngeal airway (COPA)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this