State of the Science in Tracheal Stents: A Scoping Review

Christopher M. Johnson, Alex S. Luke, Christian Jacobsen, Nicholas Novak, Gregory R. Dion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Recent material science advancements are driving tracheal stent innovation. We sought to assess the state of the science regarding materials and preclinical/clinical outcomes for tracheal stents in adults with benign tracheal disease. Methods: A comprehensive literature search in April 2021 identified 556 articles related to tracheal stents. One-hundred and twenty-eight full-text articles were reviewed and 58 were included in the final analysis. Datapoints examined were stent materials, clinical applications and outcomes, and preclinical findings, including emerging technologies. Results: In the 58 included studies, stent materials were metals (n = 28), polymers (n = 19), coated stents (n = 19), and drug-eluting (n = 5). Metals included nitinol, steel, magnesium alloys, and elgiloy. Studies utilized 10 different polymers, the most popular included polydioxanone, poly-l-lactic acid, poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide), and polycaprolactone. Coated stents employed a metal or polymer framework and were coated with polyurethane, silicone, polytetrafluoroethylene, or polyester, with some polymer coatings designed specifically for drug elution. Drug-eluting stents utilized mitomycin C, arsenic trioxide, paclitaxel, rapamycin, and doxycycline. Of the 58 studies, 18 were human and 40 were animal studies (leporine = 21, canine = 9, swine = 4, rat = 3, ovine/feline/murine = 1). Noted complications included granulation tissue and/or stenosis, stent migration, death, infection, and fragmentation. Conclusion: An increasing diversity of materials and coatings are employed for tracheal stents, growing more pronounced over the past decade. Though most studies are still preclinical, awareness of tracheal stent developments is important in contextualizing novel stent concepts and clinical trials. Laryngoscope, 132:2111–2123, 2022.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2111-2123
Number of pages13
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway
  • biomaterials
  • polymers
  • stents
  • trachea
  • tracheal stents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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