Objective: Children operated on for tracheo-oesophageal malformation (TOM) often suffer from postoperative respiratory system difficulties. There is little current literature about this subject. This study aimed to investigate the causes of these problems in rats with experimental TOM by evaluating the lung alveolar histology.
Subjects and methods: Twenty Wistar albino rats were used for the experiment. Twelve rats with a sperm positive vaginal smear received 1.75 mg/kg intraperitoneal adriamycin on days six to nine of gestation. A sham group was infused with saline instead of adriamycin. A control group was not subjected to any additional procedure. Their fetuses were dissected under surgical microscope. After examining the trachea and oesophagus, the lungs were dissected and fixed in 10% formalin. The groups were compared with respect to alveolar flat cell (Type-1), capillary density and air space percentage in the samples obtained under light microscopy. Statistical evaluation was performed through Mann-Whitney-U tests and Pearson Chi-squared tests.
Results: Type-1 cell ratio and air space percentage were the highest for the control and sham groups. However, the group that received adriamycin and developed TOM had the lowest values. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups with respect to capillary density.
Conclusion: In rats with experimentally produced TOM, the pulmonary parenchyma showed delayed maturation. This could be the cause of the frequently seen respiratory system pathologies in children suffering from TOM. Further studies should be done to elucidate this.