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A Reassessment of Tracheal Substitutes: A Systematic Review
This systematic review by Udelsman and colleagues assesses the clinical successes and setbacks of the current methods of airway replacement. Twenty-one studies, focusing primarily on the clinical translation of circumferential or near circumferential tracheal substitutes, were included in the final assessment. A total of 41 patients were identified as having received allotransplantation, autologous tissue reconstruction, bioprosthetic reconstruction, or tissue engineered reconstruction between January 2000 and October 2017. The authors conclude that each modality has its unique advantages and disadvantages; however, no clear ideal prosthetic or graft material stands out at present. Further laboratory work is required before tracheal substitutes, particularly tissue engineered conduits, are more widely utilized.