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Tracheal stenosis
Classification and external resources
ICD-9 519.19, 748.3
DiseasesDB 29215
eMedicine radio/705
MeSH D014135

Tracheal stenosis is a stenosis (narrowing) of the trachea. It can be idiopathic (of an unknown cause) or result from trauma including accidents, chemical exposure, and intubation. Sometimes tracheal stenosis is a symptom of Wegener's granulomatosis.

Symptoms can include, but are not limited to, dyspnea (shortness of breath) and stridor (wheezing). Several patients have reported being initially diagnosed with asthma.

General treatment options include

  1. Tracheal dilation using rigid bronchoscope
  2. Laser surgery
  3. Tracheal resection and reconstruction

Tracheal dilation is used to temporarily enlarge the airway. The effect of dilation typically lasts from few days to 6 months. Laser surgery is no longer recommended due to its destructive effect.

There are differing opinions on treating with laser surgery.

Tracheal resection is so far the best alternative to cure the stenosis completely. The narrowed part of the trachea will be cut off and the cut ends of the trachea sewn together with sutures. For stenosis of length greater than 5 cm a stent may be required to join the sections.

Tracheal stenosis occurring as a result of hyperpressured cuff pressures have been reported and must be prevented by vigilance during anesthesia. See "Exploratory Endoscopy to Gauge Post-intubation Tracheal Surface Alterations - British Journal of Anesthesia October 2007"

See also




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