To perform laryngotracheal reconstruction (LTR) using a vascularized neotracheal segment.
A neotracheal segment was created within the sternocleidomastoid muscle. An anterior cricoid split procedure was performed using a pedicled, vascularized neotracheal segment. Results were compared with a control group that underwent anterior cricoid split using standard (avascular) autografted cartilage. Cross-sectional area, cartilage viability, extrusion, mucosalization, and wound healing were compared between groups.
Sixteen female New Zealand white rabbits.
Eight animals underwent placement of a cartilage-wrapped silicone implant into the sternocleidomastoid muscle. After 2 weeks, the silicone implant was removed, leaving a fibrovascular "foreign body" capsule and the interwoven autografted cartilage. The neotracheal segment was trimmed to create an anterior graft for LTR. The remaining animals underwent standard anterior graft LTR using autografted auricular cartilage. The reconstructed segments were harvested for comparison at 2 and 4 weeks.
All reconstructed animals survived the postoperative period. No significant differences in stenosis rates or mucosalization were noted between groups. Two animals in the standard LTR group had microabscess formation, and no graft extrusions were encountered.
A pedicled neotracheal graft can be used for anterior cricoid split procedures in rabbits.