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Collagen-covered prostheses can be used as a non-circumferential segmental tracheal replacement. However, the applicability of these implants in young subjects has not yet been reported.
In this experimental, longitudinal study, dogs aged 29–32 days underwent limited segmental tracheal replacement with a polyester prosthesis or were allocated to a control, untreated group. The dogs were evaluated clinically, endoscopically and tomographically for up to one year.
Although there was evidence of tracheal growth in the experimental group, tomographic measurements were significantly smaller in this group than in the control group throughout the observation period. At the end of the study, there was no evidence of implant rejection, stenosis or collapse. Normal respiratory epithelium had grown across the implanted membrane in the experimental group.
The homologous collagen mersylene membrane allowed for limited structural tracheal growth and was functionally integrated into the segmented tracheal wall in growing dogs.
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