Mallampati classification (Ease of intubation)

Mallampati classification, is used to predict the ease of intubation. It is determined by looking at the anatomy of the oral cavity; specifically, it is based on the visibility of the base of uvula, faucial pillars (the arches in front of and behind the tonsils) and soft palate.

It is based on amount of posterior pharynx that can be visualized. The exam is performed with the patient sitting with the head in a neutral position and the mouth open as wide as possible.

  • Class 1:
    • Full visibility of tonsils, uvula and soft palate.
  • Class 2:
    • Visibility of hard and soft palate, upper portion of tonsils and uvula.
  • Class 3:
    • Soft and hard palate and base of the uvula are visible.
  • Class 4:
    • Only Hard Palate visible.