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Classification and external resources
Specialty pulmonology
ICD-10 Q32.0, J39.8
ICD-9-CM 519.19, 748.3
DiseasesDB 31858
eMedicine med/2976 ped/2275

Tracheomalacia (from trachea and the Greek μαλακία, softening) is a condition characterized by flaccidity of the tracheal support cartilage which leads to tracheal collapse especially when increased airflow is demanded.

The trachea normally dilates slightly during inspiration and narrows slightly during expiration. These processes are exaggerated in tracheomalacia, leading to airway collapse on expiration. The usual symptom of tracheomalacia is expiratory stridor or laryngeal crow.

If the condition extends further to the bronchi (if there is also bronchomalacia), it is termed tracheobronchomalacia. The same condition can also affect the larynx, which is called laryngomalacia.


There are three types:[1]


If the symptoms are severe enough, treatment may be needed. These range from medical management over mechanical ventilation (both continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP, or bi-level positive airway pressure, BiPAP) to tracheal stenting and surgery.

Surgical techniques include aortopexy, tracheopexy, tracheobronchoplasty, and tracheostomy.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Austin J, Ali T (January 2003). "Tracheomalacia and bronchomalacia in children: pathophysiology, assessment, treatment and anaesthesia management". Paediatr Anaesth 13 (1): 3–11. doi:10.1046/j.1460-9592.2003.00802.x. PMID 12535032. 
  2. ^ van der Zee DC, Bax NM (2007). "Thoracoscopic tracheoaortopexia for the treatment of life-threatening events in tracheomalacia". Surgical endoscopy 21 (11): 2024–2025. doi:10.1007/s00464-007-9250-8. PMID 17356936. 
  3. ^ Masters IB, Chang AB (2005). Masters, I Brent, ed. "Interventions for primary (intrinsic) tracheomalacia in children". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (4): CD005304. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005304.pub2. PMID 16235399. 

External links[edit]