OBJECTIVES To determine whether common otolaryngology procedures generate viable aerosolized virus through a murine cytomegalovirus (mCMV) model for infection . STUDY
DESIGN mCMV model of infection .
SETTING University of Utah laboratory .
METHODS Three-day-old BALB/c mice were inoculated with mCMV or saline . Five days later, each mouse underwent drilling, microdebrider, coblation, and electrocautery procedures . Particle size distribution and PM (particulate matter <2.5 µm) concentration were determined with a scanning mobility particle sizer and an aerosol particle sizer in the range of 15 nm to 32 µm . Aerosolized samples from these procedures were collected with an Aerosol Devices BioSpot sampler for viral titer based on polymerase chain reaction and for viable virus through viral culture .
RESULTS As compared with the background aerosol concentrations, coblation and electrocautery showed statistically significant increases in airborne aerosols (Tukey-adjusted value <.040), while microdebrider and drilling at 30,000 rpm did not (.870
CONCLUSION Coblation and electrocautery procedures generate> 100-fold increases in aerosol concentrations over background; only coblation and drilling produce aerosolized viral DNA . The high concentration of aerosols from coblation and electrocautery suggests the need for appropriate safeguards against particle exposure to health care workers . The presence of viral DNA from drilling and coblation procedures warrants the need for appropriate protection against droplet and aerosol exposure.