Tracheobronchomalacia: current concepts and controversies

J Thorac Imaging. 2011 Nov;26(4):278-89. doi: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e3182203342.


Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) results from weakness of the airway walls and/or supporting cartilage and affects both adult and pediatric populations. Diagnosing TBM is challenging because symptoms are nonspecific and overlap with those of other chronic respiratory disorders. Recent advances in multidetector computed tomography have facilitated the noninvasive diagnosis of TBM, and concurrent advances in management have improved clinical outcomes and created a need for greater awareness of the posttreatment appearance of the airways. This review discusses the physiology, histopathology, epidemiology, and clinical features of TBM; it also describes current methods of diagnosis, available therapies, and postoperative imaging evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography
  • Risk Factors
  • Tracheobronchomalacia* / diagnosis
  • Tracheobronchomalacia* / pathology