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Pediatric primary anterior laryngotracheoplasty: Thyroid ala vs costal cartilage grafts.

OBJECTIVE: To compare outcomes with the use of thyroid ala cartilage (TAC) and costal cartilage (CC) grafts in pediatric primary anterior laryngotracheoplasty (LTP).

DESIGN: Retrospective comparison study.

SETTING: Tertiary, academic children's hospital.

PATIENTS: Of 45 laryngotracheal operations performed between June 2001 and October 2008 for laryngotracheal stenosis, 29 were primary anterior LTPs. The procedures used either TAC (n = 24) or CC (n = 5) grafts and were planned as either single-stage (TAC group, 22 patients; CC group, 2 patients) or multistage (TAC group, 2 patients; CC group, 3 patients).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Operative time, length of intubation, graft-specific complications, need for additional airway procedures, and overall decannulation rate.

RESULTS: The mean (SD) operative times were 222 (56) minutes for TAC grafts and 363 (59) minutes for CC grafts (P = .005). For single-stage LTPs that were decannulated, the mean (range) length of intubation was 3.3 (1-11) days for TAC grafts (n = 18) and 3 (1-5) days for CC grafts (n = 2) (P = .90). Graft-specific complications occurred in 17% of TAC grafts (n = 4) and 20% of CC grafts (n = 1) (alpha > 0.05). Symptomatic stenosis requiring additional surgical intervention occurred in 43% of TAC grafts (n = 10) and 60% of CC grafts (n = 3) (alpha > 0.05). Patients underwent decannulation in 83% of TAC grafts (n = 19) and 80% of CC grafts (n = 4) (alpha > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: In primary anterior LTPs, TAC grafts require significantly less operative time than CC grafts (P = .005). There were no statistically significant differences in length of intubation, frequency of graft-specific complications, or decannulation rates between TAC and CC grafts in primary anterior LTPs.

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