Microscopic wire guide-based orotracheal mouse intubation: description, evaluation and comparison with transillumination

Hamacher, J; Arras, M; Bootz, F; Weiss, M; Schramm, R; Moehrlen, U (2008). Microscopic wire guide-based orotracheal mouse intubation: description, evaluation and comparison with transillumination. Laboratory animals, 42(2), pp. 222-30. London: Sage Publications 10.1258/la.2007.006068

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Airway access is needed for a number of experimental animal models, and the majority of animal research is based on mouse models. Anatomical conditions in mice are small, and the narrow glottic opening allows intubation only with a subtle technique. We therefore developed a microscopic endotracheal intubation method with a wire guide technique in mice anaesthetized with halothane in oxygen. The mouse is hung perpendicularly with its incisors on a thread fixed on a vertical plate. The tongue is placed with a pair of forceps between the left hand's thumb and forefinger and slightly pulled, while the neck and thorax are positioned using the third and fourth fingers. By doing so, the neck can be slightly stretched, which allows optimal visualization of the larynx and the vocal cords. To ensure a safe intubation, a fine wire guide is placed under vision between the vocal cords and advanced about 5 mm into the trachea. An intravenous 22G x 1 in. plastic or Teflon catheter is guided over this wire. In a series of 41 mice, between 21 and 38 g, the success rate for the first intubation attempt was >95%. Certainty of the judgement procedure was 100% and success rate was higher using the described method when compared with a transillumination method in a further series. The technique is safe, less invasive than tracheostomy and suitable for controlled ventilation and pulmonary substance application.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Pneumology

UniBE Contributor:

Hamacher, Jürg






Sage Publications




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:04

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:20

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Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/28071 (FactScience: 116274)

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