JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Paediatric airway stenosis: laryngotracheal reconstruction or cricotracheal resection?

B E Hartley, R T Cotton
Clinical Otolaryngology and Allied Sciences 2000, 25 (5): 342-9
11012644
Modern surgical management of paediatric laryngotracheal stenosis includes a wide variety of surgical procedures. These can broadly be divided into two groups. First, laryngotracheal reconstruction (LTR) procedures in which the cricoid cartilage is split and the framework is expanded with various combinations of cartilage grafts and stents; and second, cricotracheal resection (CTR) where a segmental excision of the stenotic segment is done and an end-to-end anastomosis is performed. In this article we review the literature and our experience and discuss the relative indications for CTR and LTR in children. High decannulation rates have been reported for CTR; however, it remains a more extensive procedure than LTR involving extensive tracheal mobilization. If the tracheostomy site is included in the resection then a significant length of trachea is excised. Alternatively, LTR with cartilage grafting can precisely correct a specific stenosis with minimum morbidity and high decannulation rates for grade 2 and selected grade 3 stenosis. For the more severe stenosis treatment with LTR has been less successful. Retrospective data from this institution suggests that the children with grade 4 stenosis treated with LTR are more likely to require a subsequent open procedure to achieve decannulation than those treated with CTR. LTR is a less extensive procedure and is preferred for grade 2, selected grade 3 stenosis. CTR is the preferred option for grade 4 and severe grade 3 stenosis with a clear margin between the stenosis and the vocal cords.

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