V. Nandapalan, J. C. Mcilwain, J. England
Jul 1, 1995
The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
Abstract The alpha-amylase activity in tracheobronchial secretions of 16 consecutive patients with a total laryngectomy was studied. None of these patients had a tracheopharyngeal fistula or pulmonary disorder which might affect the amylase activity. This study proves the presence of amylase in tracheobronchial secretions of laryngectomized patients with a normal lung at a level between x and y and the quantitative analysis of the amylase activity is discussed. The relevance of investigating laryngectomy patients is because of the nature of the surgery the lower respiratory tract is permanently and physically isolated from any other source of salivary amylase. No similar study of the analysis of amylase in normal lung tissue had been reported before. This information may be of value in order to detect salivary aspiration in patients with a tracheostomy or endotracheal intubation if the level in the aspirate is in the order of a-b times greater than that found in normal tracheobronchial secretions, (x = 35 and y = 1125 i.u./l; a = 31.8 and b = 628.6 i.u./l).