Sep 1, 1993
carried out after retrograde passage of a catheter and the patient underwent an uneventful excision of the mass which, on histopathology, was diagnosed a medullary carcinoma of a lingual thyroid. Difficult intubation in both the patients was because of a mass at the base of tongue and the Mallampati sign failed to give any advance warning of difficult laryngoscopy. Even though the anatomical basis of this test is that if the base of tongue obscures the view of the faucial pillars, it may also obscure the view of the larynx, in both our patients it provided a false sense of security. We would like to inform your readers that in a patient of Mallampati class I1 with a mass at the base of tongue, the sign should be viewed with suspicion and alternative means of tracheal intubation should be kept ready before induction of anaesthesia.