Approximately 20% of mechanically ventilated patients experience post-extubation stridor (PES) and reintubation, which subsequently may lead to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. The risk of PES development is significantly higher in obese patients. Low air leakage between the endotracheal tube and the trachea, following cuff deflation, may indicate a higher risk for the development of PES. The aim of this study is to identify the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and PES using the cuff-leak test in patients intubated in the respiratory intensive care unit. A total of 67 consecutive intubations on 56 different ventilated patients were included in this study. The mean age was 63.6 +/- 12.1 years and 84% of the patients were male. PES developed in seven patients (10.4%). The mean cuff-leak volume was 395 +/- 187 ml in non-PES patients and 240 +/- 93 ml in PES patients (p = 0.023). The mean BMI was 36 +/- 13 kg/m2 in PES patients and 24 +/- 7 kg/m2 in non-PES patients (p = 0.046). BMI > 26.5 kg/m2 (OR: 1.2), low cuff-leak volume (< 283 ml) and mechanical ventilation required for more than 5 days (OR: 0.9) were independent variables for PES occurrence. We therefore suggest that non-obese patients, short-term intubated patients and those having a high air leakage around the endotracheal tube could be extubated without much difficulty.