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Int J Artif Organs. 2000 Oct;23(10):718-24.

Artificial trachea and long term follow-up in carinal reconstruction in dogs.

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Department of Bioartificial Organs, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Japan.


We have already reported successful carinal reconstruction of the trachea with an observation period of 1 - 2 years. In this study, we evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of the reconstruction after 5-years of follow-up. The Y-shaped Marlex mesh tube was reinforced with a polypropylene spiral and coated with atelocollagen made from porcine skin. The prosthesis was 60 mm long with an outer diameter of 18 mm. Replacement of the tracheobronchial bifurcation was preformed through a right thoracotomy in a beagle dog. Bronchoscopical examination and sampling of the tracheal epithelium was performed periodically to check the function of cilia. The implanted prothesis was promptly infiltrated by the surrounding connective tissue and completely incorporated by the host trachea and bronchus. Bronchoscopically, sufficient epithelization was confirmed from the upper to the lower site of anastomosis. After 5 years neither stenosis nor dehiscence was observed. In spite of there being mesh-exposure at the luminal surface, the dog had no clinical symptoms until sacrifice for pathological examination. The bent frequency of the cilia was maintained within the normal range, indicating functional recovery of the regenerating airway. Our tracheal prosthesis is promising for clinical repair of the tracheobronchial bifurcation.

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