Model for experimental revascularized laryngeal allotransplantation


  • Presented in part to the 22nd Midwinter Research Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, St Petersburg Beach, Florida, USA, February 1999



Although a human laryngeal transplant has been undertaken successfully, important questions remain that require a suitable animal model.


A pig model for allotransplantation has been developed. Organ perfusion was studied in nine animals before four transplants were performed in congenic (unrecovered) animals and eight in unmatched (recovered) animals. Larynges were regularly examined endoscopically until death at 14 days. Immunosuppression included the use of tacrolimus. Revascularization was achieved by anastomosing the donor right cervical vascular tree to the recipient common carotid. In recovered animals, four allografts were placed orthotopically and four heterotopically.


The pig larynx was perfused adequately via the right cervical vascular tree and congenic grafts were well tolerated. Of eight allografts, seven were well tolerated and remained healthy for the duration of the study (14 days). One allograft became infected between days 4 and 7 after operation. Median operating time was 6 h, with a median cold ischaemia time of 3 h.


Revascularized allotransplants of the larynx can be undertaken reliably in pigs and this provides a preclinical model for studies of laryngeal transplantation. © 2002 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd