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For further information, see CMDT Part 9-04: Disorders of the Lower Airways

Key Features

  • Acquired cases usually results from previous tracheotomy or endotracheal intubation

  • Complications include recurrent pulmonary infection and respiratory failure

Clinical Findings

  • Dyspnea, cough, and inability to clear pulmonary secretions

  • Symptoms occur weeks to months after tracheal decannulation or intubation

Diagnosis

  • Wheezing, a palpable tracheal thrill, or harsh breath sounds may be detected, but often not until tracheal diameter is decreased by 50%

  • Diagnosis is confirmed by radiographs or CT scans of the trachea

Treatment

  • Surgical reconstruction

  • Endotracheal stent placement

  • Laser photoresection

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