Tracheobronchial calcifications in children

Pediatr Radiol. 2013 Aug;43(8):937-40. doi: 10.1007/s00247-013-2649-6. Epub 2013 Apr 25.


Background: Tracheobronchial calcifications are considered a rare radiologic finding in children. Our clinical experience indicates that this finding is not infrequently seen among children with prosthetic heart valves who have been treated with warfarin sodium.

Objective: We hypothesized that calcifications of the tracheobronchial tree are more common than previously reported in this patient population.

Materials and methods: We reviewed the medical records and imaging studies of children who underwent cardiac valve replacement at our institution to estimate the prevalence.

Results: Tracheobronchial calcifications were identified on chest radiographs in 6 out of 17 children (35%), indicating that this imaging finding might be frequently overlooked.

Conclusion: All children positive for tracheobronchial calcifications had been anticoagulated with warfarin sodium between the time of surgery and development of positive imaging findings. Our findings suggest that tracheobronchial calcifications are not uncommon in children treated with warfarin. Further investigation is necessary to determine wether there is a cause-effect relationship in these children.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchial Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Bronchial Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Calcinosis / chemically induced*
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Tracheal Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Tracheal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Warfarin / adverse effects*


  • Warfarin