• Use of cuffed endotracheal tubes in pediatric anesthesia


    Daniel Jolley.

    8 articles.

    Created May 23, 2020, last updated 9 months ago.

    Collection: 123, Score: 442, Trend score: 0, Read count: 442, Articles count: 8, Created: 2020-05-23 02:51:07 UTC. Updated: 2021-02-07 07:22:39 UTC.



    Modern cuffed endotracheal tubes are a superior airway device for children and neonates, offering better ventilation mechanics, fewer tube changes, and fewer short-term respiratory complications, with no clinically significant downside.

    Daniel Jolley  Daniel Jolley
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    Collected Articles

    • Anaesthesia · Sep 2019


      Cuffed tracheal tubes: guilty now proven innocent.

      Why should I read this?

      The cuffed vs non-cuffed ETT debate for children and neonates is largely settled, demonstrating the superiority of modern cuffed tubes over their historical, uncuffed forbears. Nevertheless, despite reliable evidence to the contrary, many general anaesthetists still prefer uncuffed tubes for children.

      Give me the quick overview

      Shah & Carlisle explore the accumulated evidence supporting the shift to cuffed endotracheal tubes by paediatric anaesthetists, both in neonates and older children.

      They challenge historical airway anatomy & physiology myths that once encouraged the use of uncuffed ETTs in children, and the questionable reliability of the widely-used Cole formula for tube size prediction (size = age/4 + 4; correct in only 50-75%).

      The development of Weiss et al.'s Microcuff™ tube represents a watershed moment in addressing concerns of paediatric airway trauma from cuffed ETTs, resulting in improved ETT function without any increase in stridor.

      More recently, Chamber's 2018 RCT compared cuffed and uncuffed ETTs in children undergoing elective general anaesthesia, and found that cuffed tubes improved ventilation and reduced short-term post-operative respiratory complications, in addition to decreasing tube changes.

      Addressing concern for increased work-of-breathing and higher inspiratory pressures when using a 0.5 mm smaller ID tube, Shah & Carlisle note Thomas et al.'s 2018 laboratory study showing any such effect is easily compensated for with pressure support and automatic tube compensation.

      Similarly, the authors also note that there has been no demonstrated evidence of an increased incidence of subglottic stenosis in children using cuffed ETTs.

      Finally, Shah & Carlisle report on their updated meta-analysis, showing that cuffed tracheal tubes in children result in fewer tube changes and less sore throat, but no difference in risk of laryngospasm.

      Finally word

      Using a modern, Microcuff™ or equivalent cuffed ETT that is 0.5 mm smaller in size than an equivalent uncuffed tube, offers functional, ventilation and safety benefits.


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    • Anaesthesia · Feb 2018

      Randomized Controlled Trial

      Cuffed vs. uncuffed tracheal tubes in children: a randomised controlled trial comparing leak, tidal volume and complications.

      Cuffed paediatric endotracheal tubes improve ventilation and reduce peri-operative respiratory complications in children undergoing elective general anaesthesia.


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    • Paediatric anaesthesia · Sep 2018

      Work of breathing for cuffed and uncuffed pediatric endotracheal tubes in an in vitro lung model setting.

      Although cuffed paediatric endotracheal tubes increase work-of-breathing and inspiratory pressures, this is easily compensated for by pressure support ventilation with automatic tube compensation, and so has limited clinical significance.


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    • Journal of anesthesia · Feb 2016

      Review Meta Analysis Comparative Study

      Cuffed versus uncuffed endotracheal tubes in children: a meta-analysis.

      Cuffed endotracheal tubes (ETTs) have increasingly been used in small children. However, the use of cuffed ETTs in small children is still controversial. The goal of this meta-analysis is to assess the current evidence regarding the postextubation morbidity and tracheal tube (TT) exchange rate of cuffed ETTs compared to uncuffed ETTs in children. ⋯ Our study demonstrates that cuffed ETTs reduce the need for TT exchanges and do not increase the risk for postextubation stridor compared with uncuffed ETTs.

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    • Der Anaesthesist · Jan 2004

      [Microcuff pediatric tracheal tube. A new tracheal tube with a high volume-low pressure cuff for children].

      Principles and characteristics of the recently introduced Microcuff paediatric tracheal tube (Microcuff, GmbH, Weinheim, Germany) with anatomically based depth markings, cuff-free subglottic tube shaft and short high volume-low pressure cuff with ultrathin cuff membrane are presented. First available tubes (ID 4.0 mm) were evaluated regarding cuff pressures required to seal the trachea and regarding the distance from the tube tip to the carina. ⋯ The new Microcuff paediatric tracheal tube with ultrathin high volume-low pressure cuff required tracheal sealing pressures below tracheal wall pressures usually required with uncuffed tracheal tubes for efficient sealing and ventilation at 20 cm H(2)O peak inspiratory pressure. The distance from the tube tip to carina was in the safe range in all patients.

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    • Paediatric anaesthesia · Mar 2018

      Comparative Study Observational Study

      Cuffed endotracheal tubes in infants less than 3 kg: A retrospective cohort study.

      Cuffed endotracheal tubes are being increasingly used in infants; however, current evidence in the literature mostly includes infants ≥ 3-kg weight. ⋯ This retrospective study with a small sample size found that Microcuff® cuffed endotracheal tubes may be safe in neonates < 3 kg. Well-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to address this issue definitively.

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    • Paediatric anaesthesia · Dec 2018

      Observational Study

      A retrospective observational study of acquired subglottic stenosis using low-pressure, high-volume cuffed endotracheal tubes.

      The safety of cuffed endotracheal tubes in the neonatal and critically ill pediatric population continues to be questioned due to the theoretical risk of acquired subglottic stenosis. The incidence of acquired subglottic stenosis in the high-risk mixed surgical and medical critically ill pediatric cohort using high-volume, low-pressure cuffed endotracheal tube policy has not yet been described. The aim of our study was to describe and evaluate the use and complication rate of cuffed ETT's in our unit over a 5-year period. ⋯ We report no single case of acquired subglottic stenosis in our cohort that required major surgical correction from a cuffed endotracheal tube during a 5-year period. The introduction of a policy of appropriate placement and maintenance of low-pressure, high-volume cuffed endotracheal tubes in the pediatric critical care unit was not associated with an increased rate of endotracheal tube-related subglottic trauma.

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    • Cochrane Db Syst Rev · Nov 2017

      Review Meta Analysis

      Cuffed versus uncuffed endotracheal tubes for general anaesthesia in children aged eight years and under.

      Since the introduction of endotracheal intubation in paediatrics, uncuffed endotracheal tubes (ETTs) have been the standard of care for children under eight years old, based on the presumption that complications, particularly postoperative stridor, are higher with cuffed ETTs. The major disadvantages of uncuffed ETTs cited for this shift in procedure include the difficulty in achieving tidal volumes due to leakage around an uncuffed ETT. To seal the airway adequately, uncuffed tubes may need to be exchanged for another tube with a larger diameter, which sometimes requires several attempts before the appropriate size is found. Uncuffed tubes also allow waste anaesthetic gases to escape, contributing significantly to operating room contamination and rendering the anaesthetic procedure more expensive. Our review summarizes the available data, to provide a current perspective on the use of cuffed versus uncuffed endotracheal tubes in children of eight years old or less. ⋯ Implications for practiceWe are unable to draw definitive conclusions about the comparative effects of cuffed or non-cuffed endotracheal tubes in children undergoing general anaesthesia. Our confidence is limited by risks of bias, imprecision and indirectness. The lower requirement for exchange of tubes with cuffed ETTs was very low-quality evidence, and the requirement for less medical gas used and consequent lower cost was low-quality evidence. In some cases, tracheal re-intubation is required to guarantee an open airway when adequate oxygenation is difficult after removal of the tube, for a variety of reasons including stridor, muscle weakness or obstruction. No data were available to permit evaluation of whether appropriate tidal volumes were delivered. Implications for researchLarge randomized controlled trials of high methodological quality should be conducted to help clarify the risks and benefits of cuffed ETTs for children. Such trials should investigate the capacity to deliver appropriate tidal volume. Future trials should also address cost effectiveness and respiratory complications. Such studies should correlate the age of the child with the duration of intubation, and with possible complications. Studies should also be conducted in newborn babies. Future research should be conducted to compare the effects of the different types or brands of cuffed tubes used worldwide. Finally, trials should be designed to perform more accurate assessments and to diagnose the complications encountered with cuffed compared to uncuffed ETTs.

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