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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014 Apr;45(4):e100-9. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezt626. Epub 2014 Jan 19.

Tracheobronchial obstruction: follow-up study of 100 children treated with airway stenting.

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Respiratory Endoscopy Unit, Department of Paediatric Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Meyer Children Hospital, Florence, Italy.



We described a cohort of 100 children with a wide variety of airway obstruction who underwent stent positioning in the last 7 years. The study examined the outcomes of this treatment in the largest series of paediatric patients reported in the literature with special concern over safety and clinical effectiveness.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 100 consecutive paediatric patients who underwent stent insertions between January 2005 and May 2012. Statistical analysis was performed and exact likelihood was used.


A total of 235 stents were placed for severe airway obstruction. One hundred and twelve silicone stents (cylinder, hourglass or Y-shaped), 120 metallic stents (covered Nitinol stents, expandable coronary and vascular stents) and 3 biodegradable polydioxanone (PDS) stents were used. Eighty patients presented clinical improvement after stent insertion, 17 were weaned off mechanical ventilation and 3 showed no significant clinical improvement [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.1-8.0%]. Complications were different according to stent type. In our cohort, no fatal stent-related complications have been observed. At follow-up (median 41.4 months, range 1.1-145.4) complete resolution was registered for 60 patients (66%; 95% CI 55-76%), 17 are still under treatment, 9 were lost to follow-up, 8 underwent surgery and 6 died of causes not stent related.


Airway stenting represents a conservative treatment before more invasive surgical procedures and can be very effective when performed in selected children and in specialized centres by physicians experienced in rigid and flexible bronchoscopy.


Airway stent; Cohort study; Metallic stent; Self-expandable stent; Silicone stent; Tracheobronchomalacia; Tracheobronchostenosis

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