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Tracheal intubation is associated with various complications that include epithelial injury. Abrasion of the fragile tracheal epithelium can occur at the points of contact between the tube and mucosa subject to respiratory movement. In this original experiment, we examined the mucosal protective effect of coating endotracheal tubes with poly[2-methacryloyloxyethl phosphorylcholine (MPC)-co-n-butyl methacrylate] (PMB).We prepared four types of tubes: tube A (control, no coating), tube B (two coats, 0.5% PMB), tube C (10 coats, 0.5% PMB) or tube D (one coat, 5% PMB). Twenty-nine beagle dogs were divided into four groups and orally intubated with tube A, B, C or D for 4 ± 0.5 h. The cuffs of extubated tubes were stained with haematoxylin. Paraffin sections from tracheal walls in contact with the inflated cuff were stained with haematoxylin/eosin and periodic acid-Schiff.Cuffs of tubes A and B were strongly stained with haematoxylin because of attached epithelial cells. Stained areas in those of tubes C and D were significantly reduced. Histological analysis showed that a single coat of 5% PMB prevented epithelial abrasion and proliferation of goblet cells. Excess tracheal mucus was observed in the tube A group, but not in the tube D group.Tracheal epithelial damage caused by intubation was greatly reduced or eliminated by PMB coating on the surface of the tracheal tube.