Laryngotracheal injury due to endotracheal intubation: Incidence, evolution, and predisposing factors. A prospective long-term study

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The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence, evolution and long-term effects of laryngotracheal lesions due to endotracheal intubation and to evaluate the import of factors in the genesis of laryngotracheal injury. Over a 12-month period, we performed fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FBS) in 19 critically ill patients with endotracheal intubation. Early laryngeal lesions, mainly true vocal cord granulomas and ulceration, appeared in 12 (63%) patients and were resolved by the 3rd month in all but 3 patients. In 6 (31%) patients, early tracheal lesions appeared in the form of ring-shaped tracheitis at the cuff level and granulomas at the tube-tip level; in 2 (10%) patients, an established tracheal stenosis developed and early detected ring-shaped tracheitis preceded circumferential fibrous stenosis. Severe respiratory failure, high cuff pressure, and secretion infection showed a statistical correlation to tracheal injury.

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