Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery

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VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 3 ( September-December, 2019 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Minimal Leak Test vs Manometry for Endotracheal Cuff Pressure Monitoring: A Pilot Study

Alison A Smith, Monica L Farrulla, Sara Al-Dahir, Terry Forrette, John Hunt, Patrick Greiffenstein, Alan Marr, Jennifer Mooney

Keywords : Critical care, Intubation, Monitoring

Citation Information : Smith AA, Farrulla ML, Al-Dahir S, Forrette T, Hunt J, Greiffenstein P, Marr A, Mooney J. Minimal Leak Test vs Manometry for Endotracheal Cuff Pressure Monitoring: A Pilot Study. Panam J Trauma Crit Care Emerg Surg 2019; 8 (3):139-142.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10030-1252

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 07-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Introduction: Optimal cuff pressure for intubated patients is 20–30 cm H2O as routinely measured by manometry. This methodology is associated with elevated costs due to equipment requirements. The objective of this study was to evaluate another methodology, i.e., the minimal leak testing (MLT). Materials and methods: Initial cuff pressures were measured by manometry for all mechanically ventilated patients in a surgical intensive care unit (ICU). Two critical care physicians separately performed an MLT for each subject and cuff pressure was then remeasured by manometry. The rate of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) was determined. Results: Thirty subjects with 100 patient events were evaluated. The post-MLT measured cuff pressures were highly consistent between physicians, with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.770 (p = 0.01). Average initial cuff pressures were not significantly different between manometry and MLT (25 cm H2O vs 14 cm H2O, p = 0.1894). Manometry had a higher incidence of elevated cuff pressures (n = 13/50 vs 2/100, p < 0.0001), while MLT had higher incidences low cuff pressures (n = 72/100 vs 17/50, p < 0.0001). No difference was observed in the VAP rate (2.8 vs 3.0 per 1,000 ventilator days, p = 0.96). Conclusion: Minimal leak testing is a known method of cuff pressure monitoring that was demonstrated in this study to provide a reproducible technique.

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