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Research Article

Endotracheal cuff pressure and tracheal mucosal blood flow: endoscopic study of effects of four large volume cuffs.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 31 March 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:965
  1. R D Seegobin,
  2. G L van Hasselt


    Large volume, low pressure endotracheal tube cuffs are claimed to have less deleterious effect on tracheal mucosa than high pressure, low volume cuffs. Low pressure cuffs, however, may easily be overinflated to yield pressures that will exceed capillary perfusion pressure. Various large volume cuffed endotracheal tubes were studied, including Portex Profile, Searle Sensiv, Mallinkrodt Hi-Lo, and Lanz. Tracheal mucosal blood flow in 40 patients undergoing surgery was assessed using an endoscopic photographic technique while varying the cuff inflation pressure. It was found that these cuffs when overpressurised impaired mucosal blood flow. This impairment of tracheal mucosal blood flow is an important factor in tracheal morbidity associated with intubation. Hence it is recommended that a cuff inflation pressure of 30 cm H2O (22 mm Hg) should not be exceeded.