Technical communication: design and in vitro testing of a pressure-sensing syringe for endotracheal tube cuffs

Anesth Analg. 2012 May;114(5):967-71. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e31824abc4d. Epub 2012 Apr 4.


Endotracheal intubation is a frequently performed procedure in the prehospital setting, intensive care unit, and for patients undergoing surgery. The endotracheal tube cuff must be inflated to a pressure that prevents air leaks without compromising tracheal mucosal blood flow. For simultaneous endotracheal tube cuff inflation and measurement, we designed and tested a novel pressure-sensing syringe in vitro. The prototype was developed using a standard 10-mL polycarbonate syringe body that houses a plunger and a silicone rubber bellows, the pressure-sensing element. Bellow feasibility was determined and modeled using finite element analysis. Repeatability testing at each pressure measurement for each bellows (pressure versus deflection) was within an average standard deviation of 0.3 cm to 1.61 cm (1%-5% error). Using an aneroid manometer for comparison, there was excellent linear correlation with a Spearman rank of 0.99 (P < 0.001), up to 30 cm H(2)O.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pressure
  • Disposable Equipment
  • Equipment Design
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*
  • Manometry / instrumentation*
  • Plastics
  • Polycarboxylate Cement
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Syringes


  • Plastics
  • Polycarboxylate Cement
  • polycarbonate