Experimental research
The normal growth of the tracheal wall in human foetuses
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Submission date: 2011-11-04
Final revision date: 2011-12-01
Acceptance date: 2011-12-16
Online publication date: 2012-10-30
Publication date: 2013-10-31
Arch Med Sci 2013;9(5):922–929
Introduction: Tracheal wall thickness is a substantial indicator in various pathological changes. The present study was performed to compile normative data and formulae for the tracheal wall thickness and volume at varying gestational age.
Material and methods: Using anatomical dissection, digital image analysis and statistics a range of the wall thickness, proximal internal-to-external cross-sectional area ratio, and wall volume for the trachea in 73 spontaneously aborted human fetuses aged 14-25 weeks was examined.
Results: No significant male-female differences were found. The values of tracheal wall thickness ranged from 0.36 ±0.01 mm for the 14-week group to 1.23 ±0.17 mm for the 25-week group of gestation, according to the linear function y = –0.823 + 0.083 × age ± 0.087. The tracheal lumen rate, expressed as the proximal internal-to-external cross-sectional area ratio, decreased from 42.61 ±1.11% to 26.78 ±4.95%, according to the function y = 62.239 – 1.487 × age ±3.119. The tracheal wall volume rose from 16.28 ±4.18 mm3 in fetuses aged 14 weeks to 269.22 ±29.26 mm3 in fetu­ses aged 25 weeks, according to the quintic function y = 0.000052 × age4.894.
Conclusions: The tracheal wall parameters show no sexual dimorphism. The tracheal wall grows linearly in its length, and according to a quintic function in its volume. A relative decrease in the tracheal lumen at the expense of an increase in both the wall thickness and wall volume of the trachea is found during gestation.