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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 1996;10(9):707-12.

Tracheal reconstruction in children using cadaveric homograft trachea.

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  • 1Cardiothoracic Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, England.



We report the use of cadaveric human tracheal homograft in the treatment of severe long segment congenital tracheal stenosis in children.


Five children (aged 5 months-8 years) with severe life-threatening airway obstruction due to long segment congenital tracheal stenosis had failed conventional management. All were ventilator dependent or rapidly deteriorating at the time of surgery, two were on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and no alternative therapy was available. The stenosed trachea was removed and the posterior trachealis muscle left in situ when possible. Surgical technique involved the use of cardiopulmonary bypass in four of five cases. Stored cadaveric tracheal homograft tissue was shaped and inserted over a silastic intra-luminal stent which was kept in place for up to 3 months. Regular bronchoscopy was necessary postoperatively to clear granulation tissue, which resolved on removal of the stent.


Four patients are all now without stents, intubation or tracheostomy. Three are without airway problems 16, 14, and 9 months after surgery and one attends for occasional dilatation of a distal tracheal stenosis, but is now at home despite other severe multiple congenital problems. One patient presented with complete disruption of the trachea and mediastinal sepsis and was supported on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation prior to surgery; this patient eventually died of airway failure and sepsis.


The application of cadaveric human tracheal homograft to congenital tracheal stenosis is novel. Its use in five children who would otherwise have died has provided an extra therapy in an extremely difficult group of patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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