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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2012 Mar;41(3):676-9. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezr010. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Using tracheal segments for replacement of cervical oesophagus: an experimental study.

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Tracheal Diseases Research Center, NRITLD, Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran.



Segmental resection and anastomosis of oesophageal lesions are not performed as a routine clinical practice because of complications and associated problems, whereas tracheal resection and anastomosis are a routine clinical practice. In this experimental study, we resected a segment of cervical oesophagus and replaced it with a tracheal segment.


In eight dogs (mixed races), weighing 20-30 kg, ageing 1-2 years, under general anaesthesia, through a cervical incision, 5 cm of cervical trachea was separated while preserving its attachments to surrounding fibroareolar tissues. Afterwards, 5 cm of the oesophagus was resected and replaced with a prepared segment of the trachea. Oral liquids were started at the first post-operative day; the animals were kept for 2 months and then euthanized. Quality of swallowing and voice were evaluated. After an autopsy, anastomoses were examined grossly and histopathologically.


No complications occurred during surgery. Swallowing function and voice were normal in all eight dogs after the operation. No sign of aspiration was seen in clinical and radiographic examinations after starting oral diet. In autopsy examination, anastomoses were patent without narrowing or abnormal mucosal changes. Remarkable histopathological findings in replaced tracheal segments were squamous metaplasia, atrophy and degeneration of mucosal glands and degeneration of cartilages.


Replacement of a segment of the oesophagus with an autogenous tracheal segment is a practical procedure with low complications and can probably be used for the treatment of cervical oesophageal lesions in human beings.

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