Purpose: Congenital tracheal stenosis is a disease in which complete tracheal cartilage rings (CTCR) cause airway narrowing. Although tracheal cartilage malformation has been suggested as a cause of CTCR, no histological studies have been performed. Here, we report a comparison of the tissues from CTCR and normal tracheal cartilage.
Methods: Thirty-one infants who underwent slide tracheoplasty at our institution from May 2016 to August 2019 were included. Tissues from ten autopsy cases without tracheal lesions were used as controls. The survey items were tracheal cartilage cell density, cartilage thickness, and chondrocyte findings.
Results: The median cartilage cell density from cases was 23/125 × 125 µm2 and from controls was 23.5/125 × 125 µm2 (p = 0.90). The median cartilage thickness from cases was 689 µm and from controls was 840 µm (p = 0.11). Comparing the ventral and dorsal sides of the CTCR tissues, the cell density was significantly different (median ventral 23/125 × 125 µm2; median dorsal 19.5/125 × 125 µm2; p = 0.034). There were no significant findings in the chondrocytes of the CTCR tissues.
Conclusion: CTCR tissues did not differ in cartilage density and thickness from normal tracheal cartilage.
Keywords: Complete tracheal cartilage rings; Congenital tracheal stenosis; Histology; Slide tracheoplasty.