Tracheal stenosis due to relapsing polychondritis managed for 16 years with a silicon T-tube covering the entire trachea

Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Sep;92(3):1126-8. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.03.049.


We report the case of a 35-year-old man with tracheal stenosis caused by relapsing polychondritis. The disease began at age 17, and he underwent steroid therapy and tracheostomy. After 2 years, owing to inflammation and fibrosis, a T-tube was inserted from the glottis to the tracheal bifurcation. Besides hospitalization for mild pneumonia, the patient was able to lead a normal sedentary life with satisfactory communication. T-tubes are an effective and low-risk treatment measure for preserving airway function in patients with tracheal stenosis due to polychondritis. In this report we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different stents in treating relapsing polychondritis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Polychondritis, Relapsing / complications*
  • Polychondritis, Relapsing / diagnosis
  • Polychondritis, Relapsing / therapy
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Silicone Elastomers*
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Trachea / diagnostic imaging
  • Trachea / pathology
  • Trachea / surgery*
  • Tracheal Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Tracheal Stenosis / etiology
  • Tracheal Stenosis / surgery*
  • Tracheostomy / methods


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Silicone Elastomers