|Authors||Nalwa SS, Hartig GK, Warner T, Connor NP, Thielman MJ|
|Journal||Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. Volume: 110 Issue: 11 Pages: 993-9|
|Publish Date||2001 Nov|
Poly-L-lactic acid and polyglycolic acid (PLPG) resorbable stents may offer a potential solution to the problem of tracheomalacia. Advantages of this material include its strength, its versatile shaping characteristics, and its resorbability, which would preclude surgical removal and allow for airway growth. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the usefulness of PLPG stents for temporary external airway stenting of tracheomalacia in a porcine model. A severe tracheomalacia was created in 6 pigs by submucosal resection of segments of tracheal cartilage from 6 consecutive rings. The PLPG stent was then shaped to recreate the tracheal contour and sutured to the underlying airway. Endoscopic photodocumentation during spontaneous ventilation was obtained before and after reconstruction. After creation of the malacic tracheal segment, all animals developed stridor, retractions, and cyanosis during spontaneous ventilation. After repair, all animals were extubated without complication. All animals survived the follow-up period of 9 to 12 weeks without evidence of respiratory distress and with rapid weight gain. Repeat bronchoscopy showed no evidence of airway collapse during spontaneous ventilation. Tracheal measurements revealed growth of the stented segment with a mild narrowing within the repaired region. Histologic examination showed preservation of respiratory epithelium. These preliminary findings suggest that PLPG stents may serve a useful role in the surgical management of tracheomalacia.