Tracheomalacia Secondary to Intubation
A 70-year-old woman presented with complaints of dyspnea, cough, sputum, and high fever. Computed tomography (CT) scan demonstrated right lower lobe pneumonia. On presentation CT, the trachea had normal dimension and morphology. The patient was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia. Although appropriate therapy, the clinical table progressed to respiratory distress. Control CT scan after three weeks revealed markedly tracheomalacia.

Tracheobronchomalacia is an obstructive and dynamic condition characterized by loss of the rigidity of tracheal cartilage, leading to airway collapse. It usually occurs in the 1/3 distal part of the trachea. Tracheomalacia can occur in congenital or acquired conditions. Primary tracheomalacia is characterized by the incomplete maturation of tracheobronchial cartilage. Secondary tracheomalacia is characterized by degeneration of previously normal cartilage. Tracheal stenosis can occur due to intubation; however, tracheomalacia is rare. Tracheomalacia should be kept in mind in cases of respiratory distress after extubation.