A method of endotracheal intubation and pulmonary functional assessment for repeated studies in mice

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Dec;87(6):2362-5. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1999.87.6.2362.


The ability to successfully intubate the trachea of mice and control their ventilation is important for longitudinal studies requiring recovery from anesthesia and repeated pulmonary function measurements or other evaluations, such as the use of radiological imaging (e.g., computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging). We describe a method for rapid and repeated intubation of mice, with subsequent pulmonary function measurements at baseline and after an agonist challenge. We describe a simply constructed metal blade used as a laryngoscope to facilitate oropharyngeal exposure, transillumination of the neck to facilitate visualization of the trachea through the oropharynx, readily available polyethylene tubing to intubate the trachea, and a simple solenoid ventilator to maintain physiological ventilation and assess respiratory resistance and compliance. Brief infusions of acetylcholine through a needle into the jugular vein are used to assess the responsiveness of the airway smooth muscle.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Laryngoscopes
  • Mice / anatomy & histology
  • Mice / physiology*
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Photography
  • Respiration, Artificial / instrumentation
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods
  • Respiratory Function Tests* / instrumentation
  • Trachea / anatomy & histology