Dynamic measurement of tracheal diameter in dogs
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We describe and validate a new minimally invasive method for continuous measurement of tracheal diameter in anesthetized dogs. The method is based on measuring displacement of water into and out of a modified endotracheal tube cuff placed in the trachea. The system was calibrated to allow tracheal diameter to be calculated from known cuff volume. The resolution of the method in measuring changes in tracheal diameter is 0.1 mm over a range of approximately 10-25 mm. The apparatus was tested in five dogs by observing the response of the trachea to four stimuli previously shown to alter tracheal tone: stimulation of nasal mucosa, hyperinflation of the lungs, induction of hypocapnea, and infusion of atropine. The observed changes in tracheal diameter were generally consistent with those of previous studies. The direction and extent of changes in tracheal diameter in response to the test conditions were confirmed by fluoroscopy. We conclude that continuous measurement of volume changes in the cuff reflects corresponding changes in tracheal diameter.
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