Tracheomalacia (differential)

A dilated trachea has numerous causes, and in almost all cases represents tracheomalacia (increased size and increased compliance).

As is almost always the case, various diameters have been used. Typical figures include >26 mm in men, >23 mm in women or >3 cm for both genders.

Although many of the underlying conditions are congenital, actual dilatation of the trachea and symptomatic presentation are only later in adulthood. Thus the term congenital in the list below refers to the underlying cause, rather than presence of tracheomegaly at birth.



Acquired tracheomalacia is a common finding, seen in approximately 10% of CT and up to 23% of autopsy and bronchoscopy series 5.


Article information

rID: 4999
System: Chest
Tag: trachea
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Dilated trachea
  • Causes of tracheomalacia
  • Differential diagnosis of tracheomalacia
  • Causes of a dilated trachea

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: acquired - expiratory
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  • Case 1: acquired - inspiratory
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