Efficacy of transoral intraluminal Wallstents for tracheal stenosis or tracheomalacia

R R Casiano, W A Numa, Y J Nurko
Laryngoscope 2000, 110 (10): 1607-12

OBJECTIVES: The efficacy and safety of intraluminal Wallstent Endoprosthesis (Boston Scientific/ Medi-Tech, Quincy, MA) placement to restore airway patency in patients with tracheal stenosis or tracheomalacia are unknown.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review in setting of tertiary, referral, and academic center.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 13 consecutive patients over a 2-year period who underwent transoral resection of tracheal stenosis and immediate transoral Wallstent placement. One patient had tracheomalacia. All of the patients were considered at high risk for transcervical surgery or had failed prior traditional open procedures.

RESULTS: The average patient age was 54.2 years, with nine male and four female patients. All had Cotton/Myer stenoses (grades II to IV) with moderate to severe degrees of inspiratory stridor. Four patients were tracheotomy dependent. The length of stenosis varied from 1 to 4 cm. One patient had a 10-cm segment of tracheomalacia. At the time of writing, none of the patients has had a problem with significant migration or extrusion and most of the patients have incorporated the stent well without any short-term obstructive granulation tissue. After a mean follow-up of 15 months (range, 4-24 mo). 10 of the 12 patients with stenosis (83%) have remained free of any inspiratory noise during breathing. The one patient with tracheomalacia also has remained free of symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Transoral Wallstents appear to be safe and may be a reasonable alternative in the restoration of airway patency in select patients with tracheal stenosis or tracheomalacia.

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