Intubation-induced tracheal stenosis -- the urgent need for permanent solution

Middle East J Anaesthesiol. 2009 Jun;20(2):299-302.


The most common site for the occurrence of intubation-induced tracheal damage is at the area in contact with the inflatable cuff. After the change from high-pressure to low-pressure cuffs, major tracheal lesions still continue to occur. This is a case of tracheal stenosis that occurred after 7 days of intubation with standard cuffed tube whose cuff pressure was assessed by subjective means. Three weeks later, patient was in need of reintubation, the trachea was found to be stenotic at the site of the previous tube cuff. Emergency tracheostomy had to be performed and computed axial tomography (CT) confirmed the tracheal stenosis. A month later, the patient had another cardiac arrest from which he did not recover. Our message in this report is to throw light and alert clinicians involved in tracheal intubation, of the presence of the Lanz endotracheal tube whose pilot balloon is designed to automatically regulate the intra-cuff pressure and thus prevent the occurrence of tracheal stenosis due to high pressure. We strongly recommend the presence of Lanz tracheal tubes as standard emergency equipment in intensive care settings and in any situation in which cuff pressure is likely to increase.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Heart Arrest / physiopathology
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Tracheal Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Tracheal Stenosis / etiology*
  • Tracheostomy