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Condition

Acquired Tracheomalacia

Symptoms, Doctors, Treatments, Research & More

Condition 101

What is the definition of Acquired Tracheomalacia?

Acquired tracheomalacia is a weakness and floppiness of the walls of the windpipe (trachea, or airway). It develops after birth.

Congenital tracheomalacia is a related topic.

What are the alternative names for Acquired Tracheomalacia?

Secondary tracheomalacia

What are the causes for Acquired Tracheomalacia?

Acquired tracheomalacia is very uncommon at any age. It occurs when normal cartilage in the wall of the windpipe begins to break down.

This form of tracheomalacia may result:

  • When large blood vessels put pressure on the airway
  • As a complication after surgery to repair birth defects in the windpipe and esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach)
  • After having a breathing tube or trachea tube (tracheostomy) for a long time

What are the symptoms for Acquired Tracheomalacia?

Symptoms of tracheomalacia include:

  • Breathing problems that get worse with coughing, crying, or upper respiratory infections, such as a cold
  • Breathing noises that may change when body position changes, and improve during sleep
  • High-pitched breathing
  • Rattling, noisy breaths

What are the current treatments for Acquired Tracheomalacia?

The condition may improve without treatment. However, people with tracheomalacia must be monitored closely when they have respiratory infections.

Adults with breathing problems may need continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Rarely, surgery is needed. A hollow tube called a stent may be placed to hold the airway open.

What are the possible complications for Acquired Tracheomalacia?

Aspiration pneumonia (a lung infection) can occur from breathing in food.

Adults who develop tracheomalacia after being on a breathing machine often have serious lung problems.

When should I contact a medical professional for Acquired Tracheomalacia?

Call your health care provider if you or your child breathes in an abnormal way. Tracheomalacia can become an urgent or emergency condition.

Respiratory

REFERENCES

Finder JD. Bronchomalacia and tracheomalacia. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 416.

Little BP. Tracheal diseases. In: Walker CM, Chung JH, eds. Muller's Imaging of the Chest. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 56.

Nelson M, Green G, Ohye RG. Pediatric tracheal anomalies. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 206.

Latest Research

Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Neonates with Persistent or Undiagnosed Respiratory Problems
  • Journal: Indian pediatrics
  • Treatment Used: Flexible Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy Directed Interventions
  • Number of Patients: 83
  • Published —
This study described the utility of flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy for the diagnosis and management in the neonatal ICU.

Clinical Trials

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.