VA ICU Report – Tracheomalacia

Tracheomalacia Pearls

  • Tracheomalacia can be diagnosed using bronchoscopy or Chest CT w/ inspiratory and expiratory views
  • The most common cause of tracheomalacia in adults is prolonged mechanical ventilation
  • Tracheomalacia can be segmental or diffuse
    • Segmental tracheomalacia can be caused by external pressure on the tracheal wall (e.g. large substernal goiter or a congenital vascular anomaly, such as a right-sided aortic arch w/ aberrant subclavian artery)
    • Diffuse tracheomalacia is encountered in rare conditions like tracheobronchomegaly (Mounier-Kuhn syndrome) or relapsing polychondritis

For an anatomic review of the causes of obstruction (including tracheomalacia), check out our August Blog Post!

See the attached CPS case for a great review of tracheomalacia.

Solomon et al. Clinical Problem Solving: Whistling in the Dark. NEJM 2012; 366:1725-1730.

Happy Friday!

Dan, Manny, Josue, and Jess


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