Peri-intubation Cardiovascular Collapse in Patients Who Are Critically Ill: Insights from the INTUBE Study

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2022 Aug 15;206(4):449-458. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202111-2575OC.


Rationale: Cardiovascular instability/collapse is a common peri-intubation event in patients who are critically ill. Objectives: To identify potentially modifiable variables associated with peri-intubation cardiovascular instability/collapse (i.e., systolic arterial pressure <65 mm Hg [once] or <90 mm Hg for >30 minutes; new/increased vasopressor requirement; fluid bolus >15 ml/kg, or cardiac arrest). Methods: INTUBE (International Observational Study to Understand the Impact and Best Practices of Airway Management In Critically Ill Patients) was a multicenter prospective cohort study of patients who were critically ill and undergoing tracheal intubation in a convenience sample of 197 sites from 29 countries across five continents from October 1, 2018, to July 31, 2019. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 2,760 patients were included in this analysis. Peri-intubation cardiovascular instability/collapse occurred in 1,199 out of 2,760 patients (43.4%). Variables associated with this event were older age (odds ratio [OR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.03), higher heart rate (OR, 1.008; 95% CI, 1.004-1.012), lower systolic blood pressure (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99), lower oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry/FiO2 before induction (OR, 0.998; 95% CI, 0.997-0.999), and the use of propofol as an induction agent (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.05-1.57). Patients with peri-intubation cardiovascular instability/collapse were at a higher risk of ICU mortality with an adjusted OR of 2.47 (95% CI, 1.72-3.55), P < 0.001. The inverse probability of treatment weighting method identified the use of propofol as the only factor independently associated with cardiovascular instability/collapse (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.02-1.49). When administered before induction, vasopressors (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 0.84-2.11) or fluid boluses (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.96-1.44) did not reduce the incidence of cardiovascular instability/collapse. Conclusions: Peri-intubation cardiovascular instability/collapse was associated with an increased risk of both ICU and 28-day mortality. The use of propofol for induction was identified as a modifiable intervention significantly associated with cardiovascular instability/collapse.Clinical trial registered with (NCT03616054).

Keywords: airway management; cardiovascular collapse; intubation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods
  • Propofol* / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Shock* / drug therapy
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / therapeutic use


  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Propofol

Associated data