A new morphologic classification of congenital tracheobronchial stenosis

Simone Speggiorin, Michele Torre, Derek J. Roebuck, Clare A. McLaren, Martin J. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Congenital tracheal stenoses are rare and life-threatening anomalies, associated with considerable variation in both morphology and prognosis. They have been classified previously according to the length of the stenosis or the severity of the symptoms, but not according to bronchial involvement. Methods: Data from patients who underwent slide tracheoplasty for long-segment (>50%) congenital tracheal stenosis were collected. We identified four different types of bronchial arborization (normal, n = 52; tracheal right upper lobe bronchus, n = 10; carina with "trifurcation, " n = 14; and unilateral bronchial and lung agenesis, n = 8). Each type included congenital tracheal (above the carina) or tracheobronchial (extending below the carina) stenosis. Results: Eighty-four children were enrolled in the study. Preoperative ventilation was necessary in 44 patients (52.4%; 75% in patients with a single lung), and preoperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was needed in 10 patients (11.9%). Preoperative tracheostomy was present in 3 patients initially treated elsewhere (3.5%), and a left pulmonary artery sling was performed in 44% (37 of 84). The overall mortality was 13% (11 of 84), 7.9% in patients with tracheal stenosis and 28.6% with tracheobronchial stenosis. No deaths occurred in patients with right upper lobe bronchus anatomy. Endoscopic procedures after slide tracheoplasty were required in 34 patients (40.4%). Stents were placed in 18 patients (21.4%), with a higher incidence in those with bronchial trifurcation (42.8%, 6 of 12). Conclusions: This classification appears useful for the morphologic characterization of congenital airway stenosis and could be the benchmark for future prospective studies on the outcome of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-961
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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