Rationale and Objectives. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of placing a metal stent across a bronchial orifice. Materials and Methods. Nine pigs were used as test subjects, because the right upper lobe bronchus comes directly off the trachea in these animals. One of three types of metal stents was placed into the trachea of each pig and covered the orifice of the right upper lobe bronchus. Follow-up studies were performed at 1 and 3 months to evaluate the right upper lobe for signs of bronchial obstruction, infection, and atelectasis. The animals were sacrificed at 3 months to study the histopathologic changes of the trachea and lungs. Results. Two upper lobe bronchi remained patent; seven were obstructed by granulation tissue or plugs of mucus and inflammatory cells. Right upper lobe infiltration and atelectasis were seen in eight animals. Interestingly, radiographic opacities were also common in other lung segments. There was a tendency toward fewer and less extensive lung opacities at 3 months compared with that at 1 month. At histopathologic examination, areas of both acute and chronic pneumonia were found in the right upper lobe of all animals. The segment of trachea covered by the stent was lined with a thin layer of granulation tissue containing neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes. The stent luminal surface was covered with columnar, cuboidal, and stratified squamous epithelium. Tracheal stenosis was seen in three animals because of excessive granulation tissue in two and a collapsed stent in one. Conclusion. Placement of metal stents in pig trachea covering the orifice of the right upper lobe bronchus resulted in retention of secretions and secondary infection in the right upper lobe and other distant lung segments.
- Animal study
- Metal stent