Effect of Endotracheal Tube Cuff Shape on Postoperative Sore Throat After Endotracheal Intubation

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although minor, a sore throat after endotracheal intubation can adversely affect patient satisfaction and postoperative function. We compared the effects of 2 endotracheal tube cuff shapes on postoperative sore throat.

METHODS:

One hundred ninety-one adult patients were included in the study. After induction of anesthesia, patients were randomized to endotracheal intubation with a conventional cylindrical-shaped cuff (Group C, n = 95) or a tapered-shaped cuff (Group T, n = 96). The number of intubation attempts, time to achieve endotracheal intubation, and duration of intubation were recorded. Postoperative sore throat and hoarseness were assessed at 1, 6, and 24 hours after surgery. A 0- to 100-mm visual analog scale was used to evaluate sore throat severity. The primary outcome of this study was the overall cumulative incidence of postoperative sore throat in the 24-hour evaluation period in the 2 groups.

RESULTS:

The overall incidence of postoperative sore throat was lower in Group T than in Group C (32% vs 54%; relative risk = 0.60, 95% confidence interval: 0.43–0.85; P= .003). At 6 hours after surgery, the incidence and severity of postoperative sore throat were lower in Group T compared with Group C (Bonferroni-corrected P< .05). Postoperative hoarseness also occurred less frequently in Group T compared with Group C (19% vs 37%; P= .006). Group T had lower incidence of hoarseness at 1 and 6 hours after surgery than Group C (Bonferroni-corrected P< .05), but the incidence of hoarseness at 24 hours after surgery did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Intubation using an endotracheal tube with a tapered cuff reduced the incidence and severity of postoperative sore throat and the incidence of hoarseness after surgery when compared with an endotracheal tube with a cylindrical cuff.

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