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August 1991

The Prognostic Value of Endotracheal Tube-Air Leak Following Tracheal Surgery in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology (Drs Seid, Pransky, and Kearns), and Critical Care Medicine (Dr Peterson), Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego, Calif; and Division of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of California at San Diego Medical Center (Dr Godin).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(8):880-882. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870200074011

• In an effort to determine if the endotracheal tube-leak pressure has prognostic value in relation to a successful outcome after one-stage laryngotracheal reconstruction or cricoid split surgery, a retrospective analysis was performed on 17 children who had undergone such surgery. The daily leak pressures, length of intubation, and ultimate outcome of attempts at extubation were noted. One hundred percent of patients with a leak pressure of less than 20 cm H2O on the day before extubation were successfully extubated. In contrast, the failure rate was 100% in children extubated with a leak of greater than 30 mm H2O. The difference between these two groups was statistically significant (χ2, 13.03). Sixty percent of patients with leak pressures in the range of 21 to 30 cm H2O were successfully extubated. The endotracheal tube-leak pressure is a parameter that has prognostic value, and should be considered in determining when to extubate children who have undergone tracheal reconstructive surgery.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:880-882)