Purpose: Tracheal cartilage reconstruction is an essential approach for the treatment of tracheal congenital abnormalities or injury. Here, we evaluated the use of allogeneic decellularized tracheas as novel support scaffolds. Methods: Six weaned pigs (4-week-old domestic males) were transplanted with allogeneic tracheal graft patches (three decellularized and three fresh tracheal scaffolds) onto artificial defects (approximately 15 × 15 mm). After 11 weeks, the tracheas were evaluated by bronchoscopy and histological studies. Results: No pigs displayed airway symptoms during the observation period. Tracheal lumen restored by fresh graft patches showed more advanced narrowing than that treated with decellularized grafts by bronchoscopy. Histologically, fresh grafts induced typical cellular rejection; this was decreased with decellularized grafts. In addition, immunohistochemistry demonstrated regenerating foci of recipient cartilage along the adjacent surface of decellularized tracheal grafts. Conclusion: Decellularized allogeneic tracheal scaffolds could be effective materials for restoring impaired trachea.
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