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Minerva Anestesiologica 2013 May;79(5):498-503


language: English

Polyurethane does not protect better than polyvinyl cuffed tracheal tubes from microaspirations

Bulpa P. 1, Evrard P. 1, Bouhon S. 1, Schryvers F. 2, Jamart J. 3, Michaux I. 1, Dive A. 1, Vander Borght T. 2, Krug B. 2

1 Intensive Care Unit, CHU Mont-Godinne, Université Catholique de Louvain, Yvoir, Belgium; 2 Nuclear Medicine Unit, CHU Mont-Godinne, Université Catholique de Louvain, Yvoir, Belgium; 3 Scientific Support Unit, CHU Mont-Godinne, Université Catholique de Louvain, Yvoir, Belgium


Background: Mechanically ventilated patients are prone to develop ventilator associated pneumonia due to microaspirations of subglottic secretions around the endotracheal tube cuff (usually constructed of polyvinyl material). A novel polyurethane cuff has been designed to minimize these leakages. The aim of the study was to compare the tracheal sealing capacities between the two tubes.
Methods: Twenty-nine consecutive patients from whom tracheal intubation was necessary as part of their care were randomized to receive either a polyvinyl HI-LO Evac® or a polyurethane SEALGUARD Evac® endotracheal tube. Patients requiring emergency intubation, with unstable hemodynamics or history of tracheal/laryngeal disease were excluded. For the entire study, cuff pressure was set at 30 cmH2O, and ventilator parameters were adjusted for a plateau pressure ≤30 cmH2O; Patients were fasting, placed in a strict 45° position during 12 hours and sedated if needed. After injection of 74 MBq 99mTc-DTPA diluted in 5 mL 0.9% NaCl just above the cuff, tracheal radioactivity was assessed sequentially (hourly from T0 to T6, then T8 and T12 hours) using a scintillation camera.
Results: Sixteen polyurethane and 13 polyvinyl tubes were compared. Leakages were observed in 11/29 patients (38%) (5/16 polyurethane and 6/13 polyvinyl tubes [P=NS]). Leakages occurred more often in female (7/8) than in male patients (4/21) (P<0.001). Microaspirations were decreased with larger tubes (size 9 vs. ≤8.5: 24% vs. 75%; P=0.01), whatever the cuff membrane.
Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that both tubes are poorly effective in preventing microaspirations.

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