When to consider a posterolateral descending aortopexy in addition to a posterior tracheopexy for the surgical treatment of symptomatic tracheobronchomalacia.

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Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2020.04.018


PURPOSES: The descending thoracic aorta typically crosses posterior to the left mainstem bronchus (LMSB). We sought to evaluate patient factors that may lead one to consider a posterolateral descending thoracic aortopexy (PLDA) in addition to a posterior tracheopexy (PT) in the surgical treatment of symptomatic tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) that involves the LMSB.

METHODS: Retrospective review of patients who underwent PT with or without PLDA between 2012 and 2017. Severity and extent of TBM were assessed using dynamic tracheobronchoscopy. Aortic positioning compared to the anterior border of the spine (ABS) at the level of the left mainstem bronchus was identified on computed tomography (CT). Factors associated with performing a PLDA were evaluated with logistic regression.

RESULTS: Of 188 patients who underwent a PT, 70 (37%) also had a PLDA performed. On multivariate analysis, >50% LMSB compression on bronchoscopy (OR 8.06, p < 0.001), >50% of the aortic diameter anterior to the ABS (OR 2.06, p = 0.05), and more recent year of surgery (OR 1.61, p = 0.003) were associated with performing a PLDA.

CONCLUSION: When performing a PT, a PLDA should be considered for patients who have >50% LMSB compression on dynamic bronchoscopy, and in those with a descending thoracic aorta located >50% anterior to the ABS.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III TYPE OF STUDY: Retrospective comparative study.

Journal Title

Journal of pediatric surgery





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Artery of Adamkiewicz; Descending aortopexy; Left mainstem bronchomalacia; Tracheobronchomalacia; Tracheopexy

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