Turkish Journal of Anaesthesiology & Reanimation

Clinical Implications of Vocal Cord-Carina Distance and Tracheal Length in the Indian Population


Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim 2019; 47: 456-463
DOI: 10.5152/TJAR.2019.20856
Read: 888 Downloads: 361 Published: 04 December 2019

Objective: Securing the tracheal tube (TT) at a fixed recommended depth of 21/23 cm in female and male patients, respectively, may result in inappropriate placement of the TT in some patients. The aim of the present study was to determine the vocal cord-carina distance (VCD) and tracheal length (TL) to ascertain the optimal depth of TT placement during orotracheal intubation in the adult Indian population.

Methods: A total of 92 adults undergoing elective surgery under general anaesthesia with orotracheal intubation were studied. Surface anatomy airway measurements were noted. A cuffed TT (female size 7 mm ID and male size 8 mm ID) was inserted with the intubation guide mark at level with the vocal cords (VCs). Fiberoptic bronchoscopy-guided measurements were obtained for VCD, TL, TT tip-carina distance, VC-cricoid distance and lip-carina (L-C) distance.

Results: The mean±SD VCD was 12.82±2.05 and 12.02±1.44 cm, and TL was 10.14±2.04 and 9.37±1.28 cm in male and female patients, respectively. Statistically significant differences were observed between male and female patients in VCD (p=0.033), TL (p=0.032), L-C distance (p<0.001) and lip-TT tip distance (p<0.001); lip-TT tip distance was 19.50±1.39 cm in male patients and 18.17±1.28 cm in female patients. The L-C distance correlated with patient height, weight and neck length. L-C distance=7.214+0.049×Height+0.320×Neck length+0.033×Weight.

Conclusion: We recommend placing the TT with its proximal guide mark at the level of VCs in the Indian population. The 21/23 cm rule for tube placement depth in female and male patients, respectively, cannot be routinely followed in the Indian population.

Cite this article as: Kumari S, Prakash S, Mullick P, Guria S, Girdhar KK. Clinical Implications of Vocal Cord-Carina Distance and Tracheal Length in the Indian Population. Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim 2019; 47(6): 456-63.

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