December 1990

Diagnostic Aspects and Syndromal Associations of Short Trachea With Bronchial Intubation

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Messrs T. Wells and Galvis and Dr Landing) and Radiology (Dr Senac), Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles (Calif); the Division of Anesthesiology, Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, Los Angeles (Dr A. Wells); and the Department of Radiology, Los Angeles County General Hospital and the University of Southern California School of Medicine (Dr Vachon).

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(12):1369-1371. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150360095032

• Conditions with disproportionately short trachea, with a reduced number of tracheal cartilage rings and a high level of tracheal bifurcation, have been reported. We have seen accidental bronchial intubation in nine patients with short trachea. This risk can be reduced by recognition of conditions associated with short trachea, by awareness that methods for calculating endotracheal tube length from body length can overpredict tube length for patients with short trachea, and, when feasible, by use of preintubation chest roentgenograms showing air bronchograms to establish the thoracic level of tracheal bifurcation. Twelve patients with short trachea, four with bronchial intubation, and six conditions not previously associated with short trachea, are reported. Three of the patients also had laryngeal hypoplasia.

(AJDC. 1990;144:1369-1371)