Prognostic factors in laryngotracheal injury following intubation and/or tracheotomy in ICU patients

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2005 Nov;262(11):880-3. doi: 10.1007/s00405-005-0929-y. Epub 2005 Oct 29.


The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of laryngotracheal injuries following intubation and/or tracheotomy in intensive care unit (ICU) patients and to analyze their prognostic factors. This prospective study includes the clinical data and endoscopic exploration of 654 ICU patients who underwent oro-tracheal intubation between September 1992 and February 1999. The prognostic factors for upper airway injuries were analyzed using a multivariate statistical study. Endoscopic exploration of the upper airway 6 to 12 months after extubation revealed laryngotracheal injuries in 30 of the 280 patients examined (11%). The most important factors influencing the development of laryngotracheal lesions were the duration of the oro-tracheal intubation and the length of time in the ICU. Patients at high risk of developing injuries were those with pathological background, a non-neurological or non-surgical (medical) admission or upper-airway injuries at an early stage. The length of oro-tracheal intubation is the most important factor in the development of laryngotracheal injuries. Consequently, it is essential to establish a time limit to perform tracheotomy in ICU patients. Such timing should be adapted to each patient and pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Larynx / injuries*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications* / mortality
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Trachea / injuries*
  • Tracheotomy / methods*
  • Tracheotomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality