Histopathological changes in the human larynx following expanded polytetrafluroethylene (Gore-Tex®) implantation
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BACKGROUND: Expanded polytetrafluroethelyne (e PTFE, Gore-Tex(R)) has been advocated as an implant material for medialization of the vocal fold. Animal studies involving rabbits and a porcine model have demonstrated host tolerance of the implant. There have been no reports describing the histological changes in a human laryngectomy specimen with a Gore-Tex implant. CASE PRESENTATION: The histological findings in a laryngectomy specimen of a patient previously implanted with e PTFE for medialization of a paralyzed vocal fold following excision of a vagal neurofibroma were studied.Histopathology revealed a mild foreign-body giant cell granulomatous reaction with some associated fibrosis. The granulomatous response was limited to the periphery of the Gore-Tex and although it closely followed the profile of the material it did not encroach into or significantly break up the material. There was no significant neutrophilic or lymphocytic inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings are consistent with the animal models confirming that Gore-Tex implantation does not result in a significant granulomatous reaction in the human larynx over a 13-month period. Moreover, there is no evidence of resorption or infection. Further, the lack of lymphocytes in association with the granulomas indicates that there is no significant immunological hypersensitivity. Histologically, the slight permeation by connective tissue is similar to that seen in Gore-Tex vascular and cardiac implants. The degree of the slight giant cell response appears to be dependent on the profile of the material; a sharp edge incited more of a response than a flat surface.
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