Carinal reconstruction with a Y-shaped collagen-conjugated prosthesis

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BackgroundCarinal reconstruction by direct suturing is associated with a high mortality because high tension at the anastomosis can lead to tracheobronchial fistula. A new tracheal prosthesis was therefore designed for reconstruction of the tracheal bifurcation and applied for experimental carinal replacement in dogs.MethodsThe main frame of the new prosthesis consists of a Y-shaped Marlex mesh tube (C.R. Bard, Inc, Billerica, Mass) reinforced with polypropylene spirals, to which collagen extracted from porcine skin is chemically conjugated to provide biocompatibility and airtightness. This conjugated collagen is composed of amorphous and sponge collagen layers. The tracheobronchial bifurcation was replaced with the prosthesis in 10 beagle dogs.ResultsEight dogs survived the postoperative period, and 2 dogs died within 4 days after the operation. Bronchoscopic examination revealed that the tracheal prosthesis was covered with smooth whitish tissue and that no stenosis or dehiscence was present in the 8 dogs even 6 months after the operation. Slight mesh exposure was recognized in 1 dog. Histologic examination revealed that approximately one half of the luminal surface was covered with ciliated columnar epithelium or nonciliated squamous epithelium. In the remaining lumen, especially in the middle portion of the prosthesis, connective tissue without epithelium was observed.ConclusionsThese long-term results indicate that our bifurcated tracheal prosthesis can be used for reconstruction of the tracheobronchial bifurcation with long-term safety. (J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2000;119:1162-8)

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