BACKGROUND: The tracheal reconstruction after wide resections remains a critical surgical problem. Our aim was to replace trachea with a tissue easy to vascularize, which allows a simple reconstruction and does not require an immunosuppressive regimen. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A segment of cryopreserved aorta was used in order to verify its adequacy as tracheal substitute. In phase 1, the thoracic aorta of 10 rabbits was excised, obtaining 20 segments that were cryopreserved. Ten segments were implanted in the omentum of 10 rabbits that were sacrificed on postoperative days 7, 14 and 21, and the grafts were examined histologically. In phase 2, a segment of cryopreserved aorta arranged with a silicone prosthesis was transplanted in 10 rabbits and wrapped with omentum. The animals were sacrificed on postoperative days 7, 14 and 21. RESULTS: In phase 1, the neovascularization of the grafts was present after 7 days, and after 14 days the fibroblasts invaded the lumen of the aorta. In phase 2, 8 rabbits survived and the histologic examination after 7, 14 and 21 days showed neovascularization, the absence of rejection and the proliferation of fibroblasts inside the lumen of the aorta; this growth has been restrained by an endoluminal prosthesis. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that replacing the trachea with cryopreserved aorta is technically feasible and does not evoke immunologic reactions. It requires, however, a silicone tube inside the allograft to limit the colonization of fibroblasts.
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