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Free Content Narrowing the Pipe: Different Etiologies of Tracheal Stenosis

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The trachea serves as the conduit for passage of air between the larynx and the lung bronchi. The tracheal luminal caliber may be narrowed in adults by extrinsic mass effect from adjacent structures; intrinsic stenosis secondary to intubation, inflammatory, systemic, or idiopathic disorders; and benign or malignant masses. Contrast-enhanced CT accurately depicts the source of the stenosis and can measure the length and cross-sectional area of the stenosis and evaluate the extent of locoregional spread with malignancies. In addition, the data are capable of being reformatted by several techniques, including virtual endoscopy and surface-rendered reconstruction. Certain imaging characteristics such as the presence of calcifications and involvement or sparing of the posterior membrane can be useful to suggest a particular diagnosis or differential. Imaging, however, is not usually pathognomonic for a specific benign or malignant tracheal stenotic lesion, and ultimately biopsy is needed to establish a definitive histopathologic diagnosis.

Learning Objective: To describe the different etiologies of tracheal stenosis
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Keywords: ACC = adenoid cystic carcinoma; CECT = contrast-enhanced CT; GPA = granulomatosis with polyangiitis; HPV = human papilloma virus; PITS = postintubation tracheal stenosis; RP = relapsing polychondritis; SCC = squamous cell carcinoma; TO = tracheobronchopathica osteochondroplastica

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2021

More about this publication?
  • Neurographics is the peer-reviewed, bimonthly educational journal of the American Society of Neuroradiology. The journal comprises articles selected from material presented at the ASNR Annual Meeting. Neurographics also publishes other high-quality submissions that are primarily educational and have a high emphasis on a pictorial approach. Neurographics offers CME credit for reading review articles and completing quiz-based self-assessment activities.

    Visit the ASNR Education Connection to view all available CME courses.

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