Diagnostic value of epigastric ultrasound and suprasternal notch ultrasound in comparison with standard capnography in confirmation of endotracheal tube placement after intubation


Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Endotracheal intubation is the basic method of providing a safe cross-sectional airway area and the incorrect placement can be dangerous and causes complications. So this study aimed to access the diagnostic value of color Doppler epigastric ultrasound and linear probe suprasternal notch ultrasound in comparison with standard capnography in confirmation of endotracheal tube (ETT) placement after intubation.
Materials and Methods: This diagnostic value study was conducted on 104 patients requiring intubation who were referred to the Emergency Department. After the intubation, color Doppler epigastric ultrasound and suprasternal notch ultrasound as well as the standard capnography were used to confirm the placement ETT.
Results: The sensitivity and specificity of color Doppler epigastric ultrasound were 97.96% and 100%, for suprasternal notch ultrasound were 98.98% and 66.67%, and for combination of the both methods were 96.94% and 100% respectively that showed the significant diagnostic value in the confirmation of ETT placement (P < 0.001). The mean of elapsed time to confirm the ETT placement by the standard capnography method (17.95 ± 2.45 s) was significantly more than the two methods of epigastric ultrasound (10.38 ± 4.65 s) and suprasternal notch ultrasound (5.08 ± 4.45 s) as well as the combined method with the mean of 15.46 ± 8.31 s (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: The results of this study showed that although ultrasound is a potentially accurate, fast, and reliable method to confirm the endotracheal tube placement, but suprasternal notch ultrasound is considered to be a more appropriate diagnostic technique due to its higher sensitivity and less detection time compared to epigastric ultrasound and combined method.


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