A tracheal diverticulum is usually an incidental finding.
It may be congenital or acquired. The acquired form is thought to be due to prolonged increased intraluminal pressure such as with a chronic cough.
It projects posteriorly where the cartilage rings are deficient and usually lies to the right where there is no oesophagus supporting the paratracheal tissue. Typically located in the right postero-lateral tracheal wall about the level of the thoracic inlet. A direct connection with the trachea is often visible on CT.
- chronic obstructive pulmonary diease (COPD) 3 - for acquired type
Although usually asymptomatic, it may accumulate respiratory secretions that become infected and lead to cough or tracheobronchitis.
The differential diagnosis of a paratracheal air cyst also includes an oesophageal diverticulum and an apical bleb or bullus, e.g.
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- 2. Goo JM, Im JG, Ahn JM et-al. Right paratracheal air cysts in the thoracic inlet: clinical and radiologic significance. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1999;173 (1): 65-70. AJR Am J Roentgenol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Webb EM, Elicker BM, Webb WR. Using CT to diagnose nonneoplastic tracheal abnormalities: appearance of the tracheal wall. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000;174 (5): 1315-21. AJR Am J Roentgenol (full text) - Pubmed citation
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