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Table 5 Characteristics of included studies on electrocautery

From: Clinical evidence based review and recommendations of aerosol generating medical procedures in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic

Author, yearStudy DesignLevel of EvidenceSubjects (n)Study GroupsStudy outcomesConclusionDirectness of evidence
Carr, 2020 [24]Descriptive, cross sectional studyN/A36Pediatric tonsillectomy patientsAirborne particle concentration in air sample during tonsillectomy.Airborne particle concentration during tonsillectomy was over 9.5 times higher when electrocautery was set at 20 W compared to 12 WDirect
Subbarayan, 2019 [25]Descriptive, cross sectional studyN/A6Patients with resection of oropharyngeal cancerPCR of air samples for HPV16 DNANone of the electrocautery fumes sampled yielded detectable HPV16 DNADirect
Brüske-Hohlfeld, 2008 [26]Descriptive, cross sectional studyN/A6Patients undergoing abdominal surgeryAirborne particle concentration in air samplesElectro-cauterization and argon plasma tissue coagulation induced the production of very high concentrations of particles in the diameter range of 10 nm to 1 μm.Direct
Ishihama, 2010 [27]Descriptive, cross sectional studyN/A54Patients undergoing head and neck surgeries.Blood aerosols in OR air conduction filtersSurgical procedures using electrocautery can result in aerosolization of blood.Direct
Sawchuk, 1989 [22]Experimental studyN/A7Human plantar wartsDot-blot analysis of HPV DNA in air samplesFour of seven electrocoagulation-derived vapors were positive for human papillomavirus DNA.Indirect
Johnson, 1991 [28]Experimental studyN/A32 cell culturesHIV-1 inoculated bloodIsolation of P−24 HIV-1 core antigen in cell cultures obtained from exposed to surgical smoked generated in the presence of HIV-1 inoculated bloodNo HIV-1 was detected in cells exposed to surgical smokeIndirect
  1. PCR polymerase chain reaction
  2. HPV Human papilloma virus
  3. DNA deoxyribonucleic acid
  4. HIV Human immunodeficiency virus