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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Oct 1;182(7):910-7. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200906-0838OC. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

Intermittent subglottic secretion drainage and ventilator-associated pneumonia: a multicenter trial.

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Medicosurgical Intensive Care Unit, Poissy Saint-Germain Hospital, Poissy, France.



Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) causes substantial morbidity and mortality. The influence of subglottic secretion drainage (SSD) in preventing VAP remains controversial.


To determine whether SSD reduces the overall incidence of microbiologically confirmed VAP.


Randomized controlled clinical trial conducted at four French centers. A total of 333 adult patients intubated with a tracheal tube allowing drainage of subglottic secretions and expected to require mechanical ventilation for ≥48 hours was included. Patients were randomly assigned to undergo intermittent SSD (n = 169) or not (n = 164).


Primary outcome was the overall incidence of VAP based on quantitative culture of distal pulmonary samplings performed after each clinical suspicion. Other outcomes included incidence of early- and late-onset VAP, duration of mechanical ventilation, and hospital mortality. Microbiologically confirmed VAP occurred in 67 patients, 25 of 169 (14.8%) in the SSD group and 42 of 164 (25.6%) in the control group (P = 0.02), yielding a relative risk reduction of 42.2% (95% confidential interval, 10.4-63.1%). Using the Day 5 threshold, the beneficial effect of SSD in reducing VAP was observed in both early-onset VAP (2 of 169 [1.2%] patients undergoing SSD vs. 10 of 164 [6.1%] control patients; P = 0.02) and late-onset VAP (23 of 126 [18.6%] patients undergoing SSD vs. 32 of 97 [33.0%] control patients; P = 0.01). VAP was clinically suspected at least once in 51 of 169 (30.2%) patients undergoing SSD and 60 of 164 (36.6%) control patients (P = 0.25). No significant between-group differences were observed in duration of mechanical ventilation and hospital mortality.


Subglottic secretion drainage during mechanical ventilation results in a significant reduction in VAP, including late-onset VAP. Clinical trial registered with (NCT00219661).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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