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Anaesthesia and orphan disease: airway and anaesthetic management in Huntington’s disease


We present a case that highlights the issues surrounding the delivery of a safe general anaesthetic to a patient with Huntington’s disease (HD) and bulbar dysfunction. In the case of a 46-year-old patient undergoing laparoscopic percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube insertion, we discuss the rationale behind our chosen method and anaesthetic agents as well as airway issues specific to HD. In a patient whose condition would not allow for an awake fibreoptic intubation, we opted for a modified rapid sequence induction. Special considerations were made with regard to muscle relaxation given the complications associated with inadequate paralysis and reversal in patients with HD. The technique we describe may also apply to other patient categories, such as patients with movement disorders, bulbar dysfunction and dementia.

  • anaesthesia
  • movement disorders (other than parkinsons)

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