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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Giannoni S. 1, Benassai C. 1, Allori O. 1, Valeri E. 1, Ferri L. 1, Dragotto A. 2
1 Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit ASL 11, Empoli (Florence), Italy
2 Service of Endoscopy, Thoracic Surgery Unit Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy
Tracheomalacia is a process characterized by softness of the supporting tracheal cartilages, by the extension of the posterior membranous wall and by reduction of the tracheal antero-posterior diameter. Exceptionally, tracheomalacia can be associated with tracheobronchomegaly or Mounier-Kuhn syndrome. Fibro-bronchoscopy represents the “gold standard” for diagnosis. The case of a 79-year-old male observed after hospitalization in a medical ward for chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) decompensation, and with basal left bronchopulmonary focus, is described. During this period, a progressive worsening of clinical conditions occurred, despite cortisone and antibiotic therapy, and the patient was transferred to the ICU for dyspnea, hypoxia, hypocapnia and with a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis. Bronchoscopy, performed during spontaneous breathing, revealed tracheomalacia which was responsible for tracheal dynamic complete stenosis during expiration and dynamic subtotal stenosis of the left primary bronchus in the first tract, together with sputum retention. Moreover, this investigation confirmed the diagnosis of tracheobronchomegaly already seen on CT. It was suggested to place a Freitag stent, since the insertion of another model would not have had enough chance of stability, due to the enormous extension of the tracheal lumen and could not have guaranteed good clearance of the secretions. Seven days after this intervention, performed in an outpatients’ setting, the patient was dismissed from the ICU, without the help of O2, with good ventilation, saturation in line with his age and good expectoration.
language: English, Italian