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Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Apr;93(4):1083-6. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.12.075. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Do tracheas grow after slide tracheoplasty?

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The National Service for Severe Tracheal Disease in Children, The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.



Slide tracheoplasty has become the surgical technique of choice for repair of congenital tracheal stenosis. Despite the initial reluctance regarding the ability of this "reconstructed" trachea to grow, the reduced morbidity and mortality have allowed slide tracheoplasty to be widely adopted. The aim of this study was to evaluate tracheal growth after slide tracheoplasty.


This was a retrospective study. In follow-up bronchography performed 1, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after slide tracheoplasty, we measured the cross-sectional areas of the midtrachea and distal trachea at each investigation and correlated the measurements with the anthropomorphic factors (body weight, height, and body surface).


Fourteen patients were enrolled in this study. The midtracheal and distal tracheal cross-sectional areas significantly increased with time (p ≤ 0.0001). The average rates of midtracheal growth were 21.0 mm(2)year in the first 6 months and 8.0 mm(2)/year in the first 2 years, and the distal trachea grew 18.5 mm(2)/year and 8.4 mm(2)/year, respectively. Regression analysis showed that both the midtrachea and the distal trachea increase significantly with weight (r(2) = 0.257, p ≤ 0.0001), height (r(2) = 0.376, p ≤ 0.0001), and body surface area (r(2) = 0.315, p ≤ 0.0001). Balloon dilation did not significantly alter the tracheal growth in the first 2 years after slide tracheoplasty.


Slide tracheoplasty does not inhibit tracheal growth. The reconstructed trachea grows faster in the first 6 months and slows in the following 18 months. There is a positive correlation between tracheal cross-sectional area and weight, height, and body surface area.

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