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1.  Anesthetic management of emergent critical tracheal stenosis 
Two case reports of emergent anesthesia of critical tracheal stenosis are presented. The use of extracorporeal circulation may be a lifesaving method for these patients. Two patients both with severe lower tracheal stenosis were admitted with severe inspiratory dyspnea. The first patient had a tracheal tube inserted above the stenosis in the operating room, but ventilation was unsatisfactory, high airway pressure and severe hypercarbia developed, therefore extracorporeal circulation was immediately initiated. For the second patient, we established femoral-femoral cardiopulmonary bypass prior to induction of anaesthesia, and intubated above the tracheal tumor orally under general anesthesia, then adjusted the endotracheal tube to appropriate depth after the tumor had been resected. The patient was gradually weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass. The two patients all recovered very well after surgery.
Surgery is lifesaving for patients with critical tracheal stenosis, but how to ensure effective gas exchange is crucial to the anesthetic management. Extracorporeal circulation by the femoral artery and femoral vein cannulation can gain good gas exchange even if the trachea is totally obstructed. Therefore, before the induction of anesthesia, we should assess the site and degree of obstruction carefully and set up cardiopulmonary bypass to avoid exposing the patient to unexpected risks and the anesthesiologist to unexpected challenges.
doi:10.1631/jzus.2007.B0522
PMCID: PMC1906600  PMID: 17610334
Tracheal stenosis; Extracorporeal circulation; Anesthesia

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