This retrospective study aimed to measure rabbit laryngotracheal dimensions at different locations on computed tomography (CT), assess the relationship of these measurements with rabbit body weight, determine the most common narrowest measurement and assess its relationship with endotracheal tube (ETT) size and body weight.
66 adult domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) of different breeds and body weights.
CT laryngotracheal luminal height, width, and cross-sectional area measurements were made at the rostral thyroid cartilage at the level of the arytenoids, caudal thyroid cartilage/rostral cricoid cartilage, caudal cricoid cartilage/cranial trachea, and trachea at the level of the fifth cervical vertebra.
The data for every measurement of luminal airway dimensions revealed robust positive associations with body weight (P < .001). The narrowest laryngotracheal measurement was the width at the level of the caudal thyroid cartilage/rostral cricoid cartilage, and the smallest cross-sectional area was at the rostral thyroid cartilage at the level of the arytenoids. There was a strong association between body weight and the likelihood of appropriate ETT fit. To have at least an 80% chance of appropriate ETT fit with a 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 mm ETT, the rabbits’ weight predicted by the model (lower 95% confidence limit) were at least 2.99 (2.72) kg, 5.24 (4.65) kg, and 5.80 (5.21) kg, respectively.
The laryngotracheal lumen was narrowest at the level of the caudal thyroid cartilage in rabbits, which indicates this location may be the limiting factor in determining ETT size in rabbits.