To evaluate the effect of body mass index and neck length on endotracheal tube movement during neck extension in thyroidectomy.
A prospective study was conducted of 30 patients undergoing thyroidectomy during an 8-month period. Patient characteristics were recorded and endotracheal tube displacement was determined.
Mean body mass index was 27.8 kg/m2 (range, 17.5–34.7 kg/m2) and mean neck circumference was 43.2 cm (range, 28–56 cm). The mean (± standard deviation) upward displacement of the endotracheal tube during neck extension was 7.17 ± 5.87 mm. Patients with a larger body mass index had a significantly greater amount of tube displacement (R2 = 0.67, p < 0.0001), as did patients with a smaller neck length (R2 = 0.48, p < 0.0001).
Neck extension results in upward displacement of the endotracheal tube. The amount of displacement is significantly higher in patients with a larger body mass index or shorter neck length. This has particular relevance for nerve monitoring in thyroidectomy.
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