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Laboratory and Animal Investigations |

Bioabsorbable Self-reinforced Poly-l-Lactide, Metallic, and Silicone Stents in the Management of Experimental Tracheal Stenosis*

Antti Korpela, MD; Pertti Aarnio, MD; Hannu Sariola, MD; Pertti Törmälä, PhD; Ari Harjula, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (Drs. Korpela and Harjula), Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Institute of Biotechnology (Dr. Sariola), Helsinki; Satakunta Central Hospital (Dr. Aarnio), Pori, Finland; and Institute of Biomaterials (Dr. Törmälä), Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland.



Chest. 1999;115(2):490-495. doi:10.1378/chest.115.2.490
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The aim of the present study was to compare, in rabbits, the biocompatibility and suitability of a bioabsorbable spiral stent made of self-reinforced poly-l-lactide (SR-PLLA) in the management of experimental tracheal stenosis with stents made of metal and silicone. Tracheobronchial stenosis, and its management, is still problematic because stenoses are not always amenable to surgical resection and reconstruction, especially concerning anastomotic problems and stenosis after lung transplantation. Stenosis can be handled with stenting, although the ideal stent has yet to be developed; all the stents available have their disadvantages. Because stenting of the airways can be only temporary, stents made of bioabsorbable materials, theoretically, offer benefits. Tracheal stenosis was created in rabbits by the extramucosal resection of cartilaginous arches of the cervical trachea. After a few weeks, the animals were operated on again, and those stenoses that had developed were dilated with a balloon. Stents then were implanted in the area of stenosis to keep the dilated trachea open. All the animals in the group with silicone stents had to be killed because of respiratory difficulties: their stents had a tendency to occlude because of internal encrustation, and they developed a hyperplastic polyp at the ends of the stents. The SR-PLLA and metallic stents were tolerated well, and after follow-up ended the animals were put to death. This experimental study showed that silicone stents had a tendency to occlude and that stents made of metal and of SR-PLLA were well tolerated and can be used in the management of airway stenosis.

Abbreviations: SEM = scanning electron microscope; SR-PLLA = self-reinforced poly-l-lactide

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