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Tracheitis is an inflammation of the trachea1

Although the trachea is usually considered part of the lower respiratory tract, in ICD-10 tracheitis is classified under "acute upper respiratory infections"


  • 1 Bacterial tracheitis
  • 2 Symptoms
    • 21 Treatment
  • 3 References

Bacterial tracheitisedit

Bacterial tracheitis is a bacterial infection of the trachea and is capable of producing airway obstruction

One of the most common causes is Staphylococcus aureus and often follows a recent viral upper respiratory infection Bacterial tracheitis is a rare complication of influenza infection2 It is the most serious in young children, possibly because of the relatively small size of the trachea that gets easily blocked by swelling The most frequent sign is the rapid development of stridor It is occasionally confused with croup If it is inflamed, a condition known as tracheitis can occur In this condition there can be inflammation of the linings of the trachea A condition called tracheo-bronchitis can be caused, when the mucous membrane of the trachea and bronchi swell A collapsed trachea is formed as a result of defect in the cartilage, that makes the cartilage unable to support the trachea and results in dry hacking cough In this condition there can be inflammation of the linings of the trachea If the connective nerve tissues in the trachea degenerate it causes tracheomalacia Infections to the trachea can cause tracheomegaly


  • Increasing deep or barking croup cough following a recent upper respiratory infection
  • Crowing sound when inhaling inspiratory stridor
  • 'scratchy' feeling in the throat
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Ear ache
  • Headache
  • Dizziness light headed
  • Labored breathing


In more severe cases, it is treated by administering intravenous antibiotics and may require admission to an intensive care unit ICU for intubation and supportive ventilation if the airway swelling is severe During an intensive care admission, various methods of invasive and non-invasive monitoring may be required, which may include ECG monitoring, oxygen saturation, capnography and arterial blood pressure monitoring


  1. ^ "Tracheitis" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ medicine, s cecil Goldman 24th ed Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders p 1326 ISBN 978-1-4377-2788-3 

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