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Esophageal reconstruction: Combined application of muscle tissue flap and inner chitosan tube stent in rabbits



Esophageal reconstruction is the key issue in esophageal surgery. However, currently there is no satisfied technique to repair esophagus after surgery.


To combine an inner chitosan stent and a muscle tissue with vascular pedicle to repair the esophageal defect in cervical segment.


Esophageal defect was repaired using the combination of a muscle tissue flap and a chitosan tube stent in experimental group while only muscle tissue flap was utilized in controls for comparison. One animal in each group was sacrificed at week 3, 6 and 9 after operation respectively to exam the healing status. Barium X-ray was used to evaluate the esophageal status in 12 weeks.


Histology showed the inflammatory response in 3 weeks after surgery, the chitosan stent was partially absorbed in 6 weeks, and there was no obvious fibrotic proliferation in experimental group; while the fibrotic proliferation and esophageal stenosis were obvious in controls, the chitosan stent was completely absorbed in 9 weeks, and squamous epidermis cells were observed. Twelve weeks later, the barium swallow went smoothly through the esophagus with noticeable peristalsis in the experimental group; esophageal stenosis without peristalsis was observed in controls.


The combination of chitosan stent and muscle tissue flap is feasible to reconstruct a partial defect in esophagus.



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