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Treatment of complex airway stenoses using patient-specific 3D-engineered stents: a proof-of-concept study


Anatomically complex airway stenosis (ACAS) represents a challenging situation in which commercially available stents often result in migration or granulation tissue reaction due to poor congruence. This proof-of-concept clinical trial investigated the feasibility and safety of computer-assisted designed (CAD) and manufactured personalised three-dimensional (3D) stents in patients with ACAS from various origins. After CAD of a virtual stent from a CT scan, a mould is manufactured using a 3D computer numerical control machine, from which a medical-grade silicone stent is made. Complication rate, dyspnoea, quality of life and respiratory function were followed after implantation. The congruence of the stent was assessed peroperatively and at 1 week postimplantation (CT scan). The stent could be implanted in all 10 patients. The 3-month complication rate was 40%, including one benign mucus plugging, one stent removal due to intense cough and two stent migrations. 9 of 10 stents showed great congruence within the airways, and 8 of 10 induced significant improvement in dyspnoea, quality of life and respiratory function. These promising outcomes in highly complex situations support further investigation on the subject, including technological improvements.​

Trial registration number NCT02889029.

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