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Supplementary Material for: Ultrasound for Endotracheal Tube Tip Position in Term and Preterm Infants

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posted on 08.09.2021, 06:48 by Salvadori S., Nardo D., Frigo A.C., Oss M., Mercante I., Moschino L., Priante E., Bonadies L., Baraldi E.
Background and Objective: Placing an endotracheal tube (ETT) in neonates is challenging and currently requires timely radiographic confirmation of correct tip placement. The objective was to establish the reliability of ultrasound (US) for assessing ETT position in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), time needed to do so, and patients’ tolerance. Methods: A prospective study on 71 newborns admitted to our NICU whose ETT placement was evaluated with US (ETT-echo) and confirmed on chest X-rays (CXR). Data were collected by 3 operators (2 neonatologists and a resident in pediatrics). The right pulmonary artery (RPA) was used as a landmark for US. The distance between the tip of the ETT and the upper margin of the RPA was measured using US and compared with the distance between the tube’s tip and the carina on the CXR. Results: Seventy-one intubated newborns were included in the study (n = 34 < 1,000 g, n = 18 1,000–2,000 g, n = 19 > 2,000 g). Statistical analysis (Bland-Altman plot and Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient) showed an excellent consistency between ETT positions identified on US and chest X-ray. The 2 measures (ETT-echo and CXR) were extremely concordant both in the whole sample and in the subgroups. Minimal changes in patients’ vital signs were infrequently observed during US, confirming the tolerability of ETT-echo. The mean time to perform US was 3.2 min (range 1–13). Conclusions: ETT-echo seems to be a rapid, tolerable, and highly reliable method worth further investigating for future routine use in neonatology with a view to reducing radiation exposure.

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