Ultrasound-Guided Laryngeal Air Column Width Difference as a New Predictor for Postextubation Stridor in Children

Crit Care Med. 2018 Jun;46(6):e496-e501. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003068.


Objectives: To assess the efficacy of ultrasound-guided laryngeal air column width difference in predicting postextubation stridor in children.

Design: Prospective observational study.

Setting: Single, tertiary care pediatric hospital.

Patients: This study was carried out at PICU and surgical ICU, Tanta University Hospital on 400 ventilated children between January 2015 and May 2017. Patients who received mechanical ventilation and met criteria for a weaning trial were included.

Intervention: Laryngeal ultrasound and cuff leak test.

Measurements and main results: Ultrasound-guided laryngeal air column width and cuff leak test were measured before extubation. Laryngeal air column width is the width of air between the vocal cords seen by laryngeal ultrasonography. Laryngeal air column width difference is the width difference of air column passed through vocal cords with the balloon cuff inflated and deflated. Three-hundred fifty six patients (89%) had no postextubation stridor, whereas 44 patients (11%) developed postextubation stridor. Postextubation stridor was associated with younger age, less weight, female gender, prolonged duration of intubation, and ICU stay (p < 0.05). Both laryngeal air column width difference and cuff leak test showed significant decrease (p < 0.05) in patients with postextubation stridor in comparison with no postextubation stridor patients. Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis showed that laryngeal air column width difference at cutoff point of less than 0.8 mm gave a sensitivity of 93%, specificity of 86%, and accuracy of 91%, whereas cuff leak test at less than 11% yielded a sensitivity of (61%), specificity of (53%), and accuracy of (59%) for predicting postextubation stridor.

Conclusions: Laryngeal air column width difference measurement may serve as a simple reliable noninvasive method for predicting postextubation stridor in children.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Airway Extubation / adverse effects*
  • Airway Extubation / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Larynx / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Sounds / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vocal Cords / diagnostic imaging