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Serial histopathological tracheal changes from prolonged intubations




Prolonged tracheal intubations are usually complicated by subglottic stenosis. The aim of this study was to identify the pathological changes in the trachea due to prolonged endotracheal intubations.

Materials and methods

A prospective study was conducted on 35 patients who were admitted to the ICUs for different periods of time and tracheostomy operation was planned for them. The part of the trachea that was removed during tracheostomy was examined histopathologically.


The most common histopathological finding was inflammation and ulceration. Fibrosis was also found with evidence of cartilage necrosis. All histopathological findings were more prevalent among patients who were intubated for 1 week.


Prolonged endotracheal intubations are associated with various histopathological changes ranging from erosion of the epithelium to necrosis of the cartilage and fibrosis.

Level of evidence

Level 2b.


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Correspondence to Mohamed R. Ahmed MD.

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Badr El Din, M.H., Ahmed, M.R., Hinnis, A.R. et al. Serial histopathological tracheal changes from prolonged intubations. Egypt J Otolaryngol 30, 142–146 (2014).

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