SUBGLOTTIC STENOSIS COMPLICATING WEGENER'S GRANULOMATOSIS: SURGICAL REPAIR AS A VIABLE TREATMENT OPTION


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Abstract

Wegener's granulomatosis frequently involves the subglottis and trachea, often leading to compromise of the upper airway. Moreover, the stenotic segments may persist or progress despite control of the disease elsewhere in the body. In this report, we describe the cases of five patients with Wegener's granulomatosis who, in addition to nasal, sinus, pulmonary and renal involvement, had symptomatic subglottic or tracheal stenosis. Biopsy specimens from involved sites in the subglottis and trachea were often not diagnostic, and the diagnosis was later confirmed by a positive antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody titer. All patients had clinical remission on standard therapeutic regimens with prednisone and cyclophosphamide but continued to have symptoms of extrathoracic airway obstruction. Three of the five patients underwent primary thyrotracheal anastomosis while their disease was in clinical remission, without postoperative compromise of anastomotic integrity or wound healing despite concurrent use of prednisone and cyclophosphamide. There has been no evidence of local disease recurrence during follow-up periods ranging from 3 months to 14 years. We conclude that surgical intervention is a viable treatment option for patients who have symptomatic stenotic segments of the subglottis and trachea as a result of Wegener's granulomatosis in clinical remission.

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