Tracheomalacia Differential Diagnoses

Updated: May 09, 2022
  • Author: Daniel S Schwartz, MD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

The differential diagnosis of tracheomalacia includes laryngomalacia, subglottic stenosis, congenital cysts, vocal cord paralysis, and hypocalcemic tetany. Complications include problems with acute airway obstruction and perioperative morbidity and mortality.

According to a 2005 study by Boogaard, when pediatric pulmonologists diagnosed airway malacia (on the basis of symptoms, history, and lung function) prior to bronchoscopy, a correct diagnosis was made in 74% of the cases. [9] However, in 52% of the diagnoses of airway malacia, the diagnosis was not suspected prior to bronchoscopy. Children with tracheomalacia present with atypical and variable clinical features; considerable overlap occurs with features of allergic asthma. [9, 10]