Tracheobronchomalacia

Tracheobronchomalacia refers to a weakness in the tracheobronchial walls due to a primary immaturity or secondary softening or destruction of the cartilaginous rings, or excessive flaccidity of the posterior mem-

figure 4-66 Mounier-Kuhn syndrome. Anteroposterior (A) and lateral (B) tomograms of the trachea demonstrate dilatation of the trachea and main bronchi, with a scalloped or corrugated appearance. Computed tomography scans of the midtrachea (C) and main bronchi (D) demonstrate dilated scalloped-appearing airways.

figure 4-66 Mounier-Kuhn syndrome. Anteroposterior (A) and lateral (B) tomograms of the trachea demonstrate dilatation of the trachea and main bronchi, with a scalloped or corrugated appearance. Computed tomography scans of the midtrachea (C) and main bronchi (D) demonstrate dilated scalloped-appearing airways.

branous wall with resultant collapsibility. Tracheobronchomalacia may be focal or diffuse.93,94 There are various causes of tracheobronchomalacia, including 1) congenital absence or hypoplasia of the cartilaginous rings, 2) traumatic causes related to mechanical ventilation with cuffed tubes or blunt chest trauma, 3) inflammatory conditions such as relapsing polychondritis, or 4) compression by vascular structures such as aberrant vessels or aneurysms or external mediastinal masses such as long-standing goiters. The location and extent of malacia is best evaluated radiographically by inspiratory/expiratory CT scans (Figure 4-67).

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