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October 1997

Cricotracheal Anastomosis for Assisted Ventilation—Induced Stenosis

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(10):1074-1077. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900100048007

Objective:  To review the long-term results and our experience with cricotracheal anastomosis via a cervical approach for assisted ventilation—induced stenosis.

Design:  A case series of 41 patients consecutively treated with cricotracheal anastomosis.

Setting:  A tertiary care center and university teaching hospital.

Patients:  Group 1 consisted of 22 patients with stenosis reaching the lower border of the cricoid cartilage that did not require resection of the cricoid cartilage. Group 2 consisted of 19 patients in whom correction of the stenosis required cricoid resection.

Main Outcome Measures:  Statistical analysis of airway patency was based on the Kaplan-Meier actuarial life table method. Incidence for the various postoperative complications was presented. Univariate analysis was performed to analyze the relationships between various factors, airway patency, and the incidence for the various complications encountered.

Results:  The Kaplan-Meier 5-year airway patency estimate was 100% in group 1 patients and 82.5% in group 2 patients. In group 2 patients, complementary treatment with dilatations in 2 patients resulted in an overall 94.8% airway patency rate. In the last patient, the airway patency was not reestablished after cricotracheal anastomosis, and a Montgomery T tube was inserted. Postoperative complications included unilateral inferior laryngeal nerve paralysis (3 patients), cervical neck abscess (2 patients), pneumothorax (1 patient), and major subcutaneous emphysema (1 patient). None of the following variables was statistically related to the airway patency or to the various complications encountered: sex, age, cause for stenosis, delay from initial injury, prior treatment, presence of a tracheotomy, number of tracheal rings resected, type of sutures used, and type of anastomosis performed.

Conclusions:  The data reported reemphasized that cricotracheal anastomosis with or without cricoid resection is a safe and reliable procedure for assisted ventilation—induced upper tracheal stenosis reaching and/or involving the subglottis and/or cricoid cartilage.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:1074-1077