By Phillip M. Boiselle, David Lynch
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Normal trachea during forced expiration: dynamic CT measurements. Radiology 1993;187(1):27–31. 4. Gamsu G, Webb WR. Computed tomography of the trachea: normal and abnormal. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1982;139: 321–326. 5. Vock P, Spiegel T, Fram EK, Effmann EL. CT assessment of the adult intrathoracic cross section of the trachea. J Comput Assist Tomogr 1984;8:1076–1082. 6. Breatnach E, Abbott GC, Fraser RG. Dimensions of the normal human trachea. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1983;141:903–906. 7. Woodring JH, Howard RS, Rehn SR.
1) 2. TRACHEA The trachea extends from the inferior margin of the cricoid cartilage to the carina, a keel-like ridge that marks the origin of the main bronchi (Fig. 3) (2). The trachea is comprised of 16–22 C-shaped cartilages, which are linked longitudinally by annular ligaments of fibrous and connective tissue (2). The cartilages are connected posteriorly by the membranous wall of the trachea, which lacks cartilage and is supported by the trachealis muscle, comprised of transverse smooth muscle fibers that narrow the tracheal lumen upon contraction (2).
Thus, because of the angled course of the trachea, axial CT images do not provide a true perpendicular cross section of the tracheal lumen. Radiologic Anatomy of the Airways 29 A) B) Fig. 2. Three-dimensional reconstruction techniques in the upper airway. (A) Coronal multiplanar reformation image shows the upper airway in an adult. Note the delineation of the pyriform sinuses (black arrows), aryepiglottic folds (white arrows), and the glottic airway (asterisks). (B) Sagittal multiplanar reformation image of the upper airway in a child.