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Tracheal rupture

  • Definition

    A tracheal or bronchial rupture is a tear or break in the windpipe (trachea) or bronchial tubes, the major airways leading to the lungs. A tear can also occur in the tissue lining the windpipe.

    Alternative Names

    Torn tracheal mucosa; Bronchial rupture

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    The injury may be caused by:

    • Infections
    • Sores (ulcerations) due to foreign objects
    • Trauma, such as a gunshot wound or automobile accident

    Injuries to the trachea or bronchi also may occur during medical procedures (for example, fiberoptic bronchoscopy and placement of a breathing tube). However, this is very uncommon.