|Classification and external resources|
Tracheomalacia is a condition where the tracheal support cartilage is soft such that the trachea partly collapses especially during increased airflow. The usual symptom is stridor when a person breaths out.
The trachea normally dilates slightly during breathing in and narrows slightly during breathing out. These processes are exaggerated in tracheomalacia, leading to airway collapse on breathing out.
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. The term is from trachea and the Greek μαλακία, softening
There are three types:
- Type 1 — congenital, sometimes associated with tracheoesophageal fistula or esophageal atresia
- Type 2 — extrinsic compression sometimes due to vascular rings
- Type 3 — acquired due to chronic infection or prolonged intubation or inflammatory conditions like relapsing polychondritis
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Masters IB, Chang AB (2005). Masters IB, ed. "Interventions for primary (intrinsic) tracheomalacia in children". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (4): CD005304. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005304.pub2. PMID 16235399.