Laryngeal split and rib cartilage interpositional grafting: treatment option for glottic/subglottic stenosis in adults

Ricardo Mingarini Terra, Hélio Minamoto, Felipe Carneiro, Paulo Manuel Pego-Fernandes, Fábio Biscegli Jatene
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2009, 137 (4): 818-23

OBJECTIVES: Severe glottic/subglottic stenosis (complex laryngotracheal stenosis) is a rare but challenging complication of endotracheal intubation. Laryngotracheal reconstruction with cartilage graft and an intralaryngeal stent is a procedure described for complex laryngotracheal stenosis management in children; however, for adults, few options remain. Our aim was to analyze the results of laryngotracheal reconstruction as a treatment for complex laryngotracheal stenosis in adults, considering postoperative and long-term outcome.

METHODS: Laryngotracheal reconstruction (laryngeal split with anterior and posterior interposition of a rib cartilage graft) has been used in our institution to manage glottic/subglottic stenosis restricted to the larynx; laryngotracheal reconstruction associated with cricotracheal resection has been used to treat glottic/subglottic/upper tracheal stenosis (extending beyond the second tracheal ring). A retrospective study was conducted, including all patients with complex laryngotracheal stenosis treated surgically in our institution from January of 2002 until December of 2005.

RESULTS: Twenty patients (10 male and 10 female patients; average age, 36.13 years; age range, 18-54 years) were included. There were no deaths, and the postoperative complications were as follows: dysphonia, 25%; subcutaneous emphysema, 10%; tracheocutaneous fistula, 20%; wound infection, 15%; and bleeding, 5.0%. Eighty percent of the patients were completely decannulated after a mean of 23.4 months of follow-up (range, 4-55 months).

CONCLUSIONS: Laryngeal split with anterior and posterior cartilage graft interposition as an isolated procedure or associated with a cricotracheal resection is a feasible and low-morbidity alternative for complex laryngotracheal stenosis treatment.

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