Trachealis muscle

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Trachealis muscle
NerveVagus nerve and upper thoracic spinal nerves
ActionsConstricts trachea
LatinMusculus trachealis
Anatomical terms of muscle

The trachealis muscle is a sheet of smooth muscle in the trachea.


The trachealis muscle lies posterior to the trachea and anterior to the oesophagus.[1] It bridges the gap between the free ends of C-shaped rings of cartilage at the posterior border of the trachea, adjacent to the oesophagus.[1][2][3] This completes the ring of cartilages of the trachea.[3] The trachealis muscle also supports a thin cartilage on the inside of the trachea.[4] It is the only smooth muscle present in the trachea.[5]


The primary function of the trachealis muscle is to constrict the trachea, allowing air to be expelled with more force, such as during coughing.[2]

Clinical significance[edit]

Tracheomalacia may involve hypotonia of the trachealis muscle.[6]

The trachealis muscle may become stiffer during ageing, which makes the whole trachea less elastic.[7]

In infants, the insertion of an oesophagogastroduodenoscope into the oesophagus may compress the trachealis muscle, and narrow the trachea.[8] This can result in reduced airflow to the lungs.[8] Infants may be intubated to make sure that the trachea is fixed open.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lumb, Andrew B (2017-01-01), Lumb, Andrew B (ed.), "Chapter 1 - Functional Anatomy of the Respiratory Tract", Nunn's Applied Respiratory Physiology (Eighth Edition), Elsevier, pp. 3–16.e1, ISBN 978-0-7020-6294-0, retrieved 2021-01-21
  2. ^ a b Ross, Michael H.; Pawlina, Wojciech (2005), Histology a Text and Atlas (5th edition), LWW, p. 617, ISBN 0781750563
  3. ^ a b Leslie, Kevin O.; Wick, Mark R. (2018-01-01), Leslie, Kevin O.; Wick, Mark R. (eds.), "1 - Lung Anatomy", Practical Pulmonary Pathology: A Diagnostic Approach (Third Edition), Elsevier, pp. 1–14.e2, ISBN 978-0-323-44284-8, retrieved 2021-01-23
  4. ^ Rosado-de-Christenson, Melissa L.; Carter, Brett W., eds. (2016-01-01), "Approach to Tracheobronchial Neoplasms", Specialty Imaging: Thoracic Neoplasms, Specialty Imaging, Philadelphia: Elsevier, pp. 230–235, ISBN 978-0-323-37706-5, retrieved 2021-01-23
  5. ^ Shaffer, Thomas H.; Penn, Raymond B.; Wolfson, Marla R. (2017-01-01), Polin, Richard A.; Abman, Steven H.; Rowitch, David H.; Benitz, William E. (eds.), "66 - Upper Airway Structure: Function, Regulation, and Development", Fetal and Neonatal Physiology (Fifth Edition), Elsevier, pp. 676–685.e2, ISBN 978-0-323-35214-7, retrieved 2021-01-23
  6. ^ Wert, Susan E. (2017-01-01), Polin, Richard A.; Abman, Steven H.; Rowitch, David H.; Benitz, William E. (eds.), "61 - Normal and Abnormal Structural Development of the Lung", Fetal and Neonatal Physiology (Fifth Edition), Elsevier, pp. 627–641.e3, ISBN 978-0-323-35214-7, retrieved 2021-01-23
  7. ^ Morgenroth, Konrad; Ebsen, Michael (2008-01-01), Papadakos, PETER J.; Lachmann, BURKHARD; Visser-Isles, Laraine (eds.), "CHAPTER 8 - Anatomy", Mechanical Ventilation, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, pp. 69–85, ISBN 978-0-7216-0186-1, retrieved 2021-01-23
  8. ^ a b c Cravero, Joseph P.; Landrigan-Ossar, Mary (2019-01-01), Coté, Charles J.; Lerman, Jerrold; Anderson, Brian J. (eds.), "46 - Anesthesia Outside the Operating Room", A Practice of Anesthesia for Infants and Children (Sixth Edition), Philadelphia: Elsevier, pp. 1077–1094.e4, ISBN 978-0-323-42974-0, retrieved 2021-01-23