Silver-coated endotracheal tube versus non-coated endotracheal tube for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia among adults: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials


Li Wang Chinese Cochrane Centre/ Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37 Guoxue Xi, China Tel: 86–28-85423458 Fax: 86–28-85422253 Email:


Objective: To compare the effects of using silver-coated endotracheal tube (ETT) versus non-coated ETT on the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and mortality in adult patients.

Method: We searched MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database from inception to June 30, 2011. We also retrieved the reference lists of included studies and reviews. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing silver-coated ETTs versus non-coated ETTs were included. We pooled the results using a random-effect model and conducted subgroup analyses and sensitivity analyses to address the heterogeneity between studies.

Results: We identified two eligible RCTs with a total of 1630 participants. The studies were of high quality according to Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias. Compared with non-coated ETTs, silver-coated ETTs resulted in lower incidence of VAP (RR=0.64, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.96), device-related adverse events (RR=0.53, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.88), and microbiologic burden (≥10,000 CFU/mL: 0.64, 0.48 to 0.86; ≥100,000 CFU/mL: 0.62, 0.43 to 0.89). However, there was no significant difference in total mortality (RR=1.14, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.30).

Conclusion: The limited evidence from meta-analysis of two RCTs showed that using silver-coated ETTs reduced the incidence of VAP, microbiologic burden, and device-related adverse events among adult patients. Additional rigorous randomized trials are needed to confirm these findings.