Tracheomalacia and bronchomalacia in children: incidence and patient characteristics.
ABSTRACT Congenital airway malacia is one of the few causes of irreversible airways obstruction in children, but the incidence in the general population is unknown. Severe airway malacia or malacia associated with specific syndromes is usually recognized and diagnosed early in infancy, but information about clinical features of children with primary malacia, often diagnosed only later in childhood, is scarce.
We analyzed all flexible bronchoscopies performed between 1997 and 2004 in the Sophia Children's Hospital, summarized clinical features of children with primary airway malacia, estimated the incidence of primary airway malacia, and calculated the predictive value of a clinical diagnosis of airway malacia by pediatric pulmonologists.
In a total of 512 bronchoscopies, airway malacia was diagnosed in 160 children (94 males) at a median age of 4.0 years (range, 0 to 17 years). Airway malacia was classified as primary in 136 children and secondary in 24 children. The incidence of primary airway malacia was estimated to be at least 1 in 2,100. When pediatric pulmonologists expected to find airway malacia (based on symptoms, history, and lung function) prior to bronchoscopy, this was correct in 74% of the cases. In 52% of the airway malacia diagnoses, the diagnosis was not suspected prior to bronchoscopy. Presenting clinical features of children with airway malacia were variable and atypical, showing considerable overlap with features of allergic asthma. Peak expiratory flow was more reduced than FEV(1).
Primary airway malacia is not rare in the general population, with an estimated incidence of at least 1 in 2,100 children. Airway malacia is difficult to recognize based on clinical features that show overlap with those of more common pulmonary diseases. We recommend bronchoscopy in patients with impaired exercise tolerance, recurrent lower airways infection, and therapy-resistant, irreversible, and/or atypical asthma to rule out airway malacia.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the clinical features of airway malacia in children.International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 01/2014; 7(9):3005-12. · 1.42 Impact Factor
Article: Airway tissue engineering: an update[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Introduction: Prosthetic materials, autologous tissues, cryopreserved homografts and allogeneic tissues have thus far proven unsuccessful in providing long-term functional solutions to extensive upper airway disease and damage. Research is therefore focusing on the rapidly expanding fields of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering in order to provide stem cell-based constructs for airway reconstruction, substitution and/or regeneration.Areas covered: Advances in stem cell technology, biomaterials and growth factor interactions have been instrumental in guiding optimization of tissue-engineered airways, leading to several first-in-man studies investigating stem cell-based tissue-engineered tracheal transplants in patients. Here, we summarize current progress, outstanding research questions, as well as future directions within the field.Expert opinion: The complex immune interaction between the transplant and host in vivo is only beginning to be untangled. Recent progress in our understanding of stem cell biology, decellularization techniques, biomaterials and transplantation immunobiology offers the prospect of transplanting airways without the need for lifelong immunosuppression. In addition, progress in airway revascularization, reinnervation and ever-increasingly sophisticated bioreactor design is opening up new avenues for the construction of a tissue-engineered larynx. Finally, 3D printing is a novel technique with the potential to render microscopic control over how cells are incorporated and grown onto the tissue-engineered airway.Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 08/2014; 14(10). DOI:10.1517/14712598.2014.938631 · 3.65 Impact Factor