Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the results obtained by 2 different techniques of tracheoplasty in the treatment of long-segment, funnel-shaped congenital tracheal stenosis (CTS) in 2 tertiary paediatric hospitals.
Methods: The clinical records of patients with long segment congenital tracheal stenosis during the period January 1990 to June 1999 were reviewed retrospectively. Age, gender, symptoms, imaging (x-ray, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or bronchography), endoscopic findings, associated anomalies, treatment, intubation time, postoperative treatment, intensive care unit stay, complications, hospital stay, evolution, and follow-up time were analyzed. Short congenital tracheal stenosis treated by resection and end-to-end anastomosis are not included. Results are given as mean +/- SEM.
Results: Ten (7 boys, 4 girls) of 14 patients with CTS had a funnel-shaped CTS. Mean age at treatment was 9.7 +/- 4.8 months (range, 3 days to 4.7 years). All of the patients presented with CTS affecting the distal third of the trachea and 4 of them extension to 1 main stem bronchus. They were treated by 2 different types of tracheoplasty: anterior costal cartilage graft (ACGT, 6 patients) and slide tracheoplasty (ST, 4 patients). All the patients treated by ACGT failed: 4 died and 2 required further surgery for restenosis. Causes of death were acute respiratory failure during surgery (2 cases) and anastomotic dehiscence (2 cases). The patients treated with ST are asymptomatic and doing well. Mean postoperative intubation time of the ACGT group was 35 +/- 25 days (10 to 60 days), whereas in the ST group it was 14 +/- 12 days (0 to 51 days). Mean hospital stays were 292 +/- 271 days (21 to 563 days) and 24 +/- 13 days (7 to 63 days), respectively. Mean follow-up time is 28 +/- 14 months (3 to 94 months).
Conclusions: Surgery of long-segment congenital tracheal stenosis has a high failure and complication rate with vital implications in prognosis. Treatment should be done in a multidisciplinary basis by a highly trained and motivated team. Slide tracheoplasty seems to be the better option, although further multicentre studies should be conducted.