Author | Septimiu D. Murgu, MD


Recognizing tracheobronchomalacia

August 01, 2006

Abstract: Tracheobronchomalacia is a form of expiratory central airway collapse characterized by softening of the airway wall cartilaginous structures. Symptoms often mimic asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Pulmonary function test results may suggest a diagnosis, but findings are neither sensitive nor specific. Bronchoscopy and novel dynamic radiographic studies contribute to the diagnosis and help differentiate true malacia from other forms of expiratory central airway collapse. Treatment options include medication; noninvasive ventilatory support; interventional bronchoscopy with airway stent insertion; and open surgical procedures, such as tracheostomy, tracheal resection, and tracheoplasty. (J Respir Dis. 2006;27(8):327-335)