Use of the Palmaz stent in the treatment of severe tracheomalacia

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2004 Aug;113(8):641-7. doi: 10.1177/000348940411300808.


To present our experience with the use of the Palmaz stent in treating cases of severe, life-threatening tracheomalacia, and to report our experience with the use of tracheal stents in patients who have concomitant tracheotomies, we performed a retrospective study in a tertiary-care children's hospital. Nine patients with multiple congenital anomalies including severe tracheomalacia required placement of a Palmaz stent to prolong life. The congenital anomalies included congenital heart disease, congenital lung disease, meningomyelocele, laryngotracheoesophageal cleft, and tracheoesophageal fistula. Three of the patients had concomitant tracheotomies. Each patient had placement of one or more Palmaz stents in the trachea and/or bronchus. Four patients died, and 5 patients are still alive. Three of the 4 patients who died had concomitant tracheotomies and died of complications associated with significant tracheal hemorrhage. The fourth died of pulmonary complications following repeated episodes of pneumonia. None of the 5 patients who are still alive had a concomitant tracheotomy. The Palmaz stent is a useful tool for treating life-threatening tracheomalacia as a final resort in this difficult patient population; however, the use of these stents may lead to subsequent hemorrhage and death, especially in patients with tracheotomies, so their use must be carefully considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents*
  • Trachea / abnormalities*
  • Tracheal Diseases / therapy*
  • Tracheal Stenosis / therapy