What can regenerative medicine offer for infants with laryngotracheal agenesis?

Peggy Lange, Jonathan M. Fishman, Martin J. Elliott, Paolo De Coppi, Martin A. Birchall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background. Laryngotracheal agenesis is a rare congenital disorder but has devastating consequences. Recent achievements in regenerative medicine have opened up new vistas in therapeutic strategies for these infants. Objective. To provide a state-of-the-art review concerning recent achievements in tissue engineering as applied to fetal airway reconstruction and to discuss the use of autologous human amniotic stem cells to prepare organs in advance for babies with laryngotracheal agenesis. Data Sources and Review Methods. A structured search of the current literature (up to and including June 2011). The authors searched PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, BIOSIS Previews, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, ICTRP, and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. Results. Over the past 15 years, progress has been made in advancing the boundaries of regenerative medicine from the laboratory to the clinical setting through translational research. Most experience has been gained with adult stem cells and synthetic materials or decellularized scaffolds. The optimal cell source for fetal tissue engineering remains to be determined, but a combination of decellularized scaffolds and amniotic fluid stem cells holds great promise for fetal tissue engineering. Conclusions and Implications for Practice. Current treatment strategies for laryngotracheal agenesis are suboptimal, and fetal tissue engineering offers an alternative to conventional treatments. Use of human amniotic fluid stem cells for preparing autologous tissue-engineered organ constructs prenatally is an attractive concept. Although this approach is still in its experimental stages, further preclinical and clinical studies are encouraged to define its exact role in the pediatric laryngological setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-550
Number of pages7
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway malformations
  • Amniotic fluid stem cells
  • Fetal
  • Laryngotracheal agenesis
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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