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Biofilm accumulation on endotracheal tubes following prolonged intubation

  • J M Lee (a1), N Hashmi (a1), J D Bloom (a1), E Tamashiro (a1), L Doghramji (a1), B Sarani (a2), J N Palmer (a1), N A Cohen (a1) and N Mirza (a1)...



To demonstrate that patients who have been intubated for prolonged periods of time will have an increased likelihood of developing bacterial biofilm on their endotracheal tubes.


We collected endotracheal tubes from patients at the time of extubation, and analysed representative sections with scanning electron microscopy for morphologic evidence of biofilms.


From September 2007 to September 2008, 32 endotracheal tubes were analysed with electron microscopy. Patients who had been intubated for 6 days or longer had a significantly higher percentage of endotracheal tubes that exhibited bacterial biofilms, compared with patients intubated for less than 6 days (88.9 versus 57.1 per cent, p = 0.0439).


Longer duration of intubation is associated with a higher incidence of bacterial biofilm. Further research is needed to link the presence of bacterial biofilms to acquired laryngotracheal damage.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr J M Lee, 3400 Spruce St, Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA Fax: +1 215 662 4182 E-mail:


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Biofilm accumulation on endotracheal tubes following prolonged intubation

  • J M Lee (a1), N Hashmi (a1), J D Bloom (a1), E Tamashiro (a1), L Doghramji (a1), B Sarani (a2), J N Palmer (a1), N A Cohen (a1) and N Mirza (a1)...


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