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Minerva Anestesiologica 2019 August;85(8):846-53

DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.19.13133-1


language: English

An in-vitro study to evaluate high-volume low-pressure endotracheal tube cuff deflation dynamics

Joan D. MARTI 1, Gianluigi LI BASSI 1, 2, 3, 4, Valentina ISETTA 3, 5, Miguel R. LAZARO 5, Eli AGUILERA-XIOL 1, 2, 3, Talitha COMARU 1, Denise BATTAGLINI 6, Andrea MELI 7, Miguel FERRER 1, 2, 3, 4, Daniel NAVAJAS 3, 5, 8, Paolo PELOSI 6, Davide CHIUMELLO 7, Antoni TORRES 1, 2, 3, 4 , Ramon FARRE 2, 3, 5

1 Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Thorax Institute, Clinical Hospital, Barcelona, Spain; 2 Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain; 3 Centro de Investigación Biomedica En Red-Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Barcelona, Spain; 4 University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 5 Unit of Biophysics and Bioengineering, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 6 Dipartimento Scienze Chirurgiche e Diagnostiche Integrate (DISC), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 7 Unit of Anesthesia and Resuscitation, Department of Science and Health, ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 8 Institut of Bioengineering of Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

BACKGROUND: High-volume low-pressure (HVLP) endotracheal tube (ETT) cuffs for critically ill patients often deflate during the course of mechanical ventilation. We performed an in-vitro study to comprehensively assess HVLP cuff deflation dynamics and potential preventive measures.
METHODS: We evaluated 24-hour deflation of seven HVLP cuffs of cylindrical or tapered shape, and made of polyvinylchloride or polyurethane. Experiments were performed within a thermostated chamber set at 37 °C. In the first stage of experiments, the cuff pilot balloon valve was not manipulated. The cuff internal pressure was assessed hourly for 24 hours, via a linear position sensor which monitored cuff deflation displacements. Then, we re-evaluated cuff deflation of the worst-performing ETT cuffs with the cuff pilot balloon valve sealed. Finally, we inflated ETT cuffs within an artificial trachea to evaluate deflation dynamics during mechanical ventilation.
RESULTS: Initial tests showed an exponential decrease in cuff internal pressure in five out of seven cuffs. Cuffs of cylindrical shape and made of polyurethane demonstrated the fastest deflation rates (P<0.050 vs. cuffs of conical shape and made of polyvinylchloride). When the cuff pilot balloon valve was not sealed, the internal cuff pressure deflation rate differed significantly among ETTs (P=0.005). Yet, upon sealing the cuff pilot balloon valve and during mechanical ventilation, cuff deflation rates decreased (P<0.050).
CONCLUSIONS: In controlled in-vitro settings, ETT cuffs consistently deflate over time, and the cuff pilot balloon valve plays a central role in this occurrence. Deflation rate decreases when cuffs are inflated within a plastic artificial tracheal model and mechanical ventilation is activated.

KEY WORDS: Anesthesia, endotracheal; In vitro techniques; Respiration, artificial; Critical illness

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