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Tracheomalacia and bronchomalacia in 34 children: clinical and radiologic profiles and associations with other diseases.

Clinical Pediatrics 2005 November
We reviewed our experience on tracheomalacia (TM) and bronchomalacia (BM) in children who presented with chronic respiratory problems and evaluated their clinical and radiologic characteristics and their associations with other disorders. There were 26 males and 8 females with a median age of 9 months. The main symptoms were wheezing, persistent or recurrent pneumonia, and chronic cough. Atelectasis on chest radiograph was the most common sign. Of 23 children with TM, 1 had a double aortic arch, 1 had tracheoesophageal fistula, and 1 other had associated laryngomalacia. BM was found in 27 children and was predominantly seen on the right side. TBM was found in 16 cases (in an infant TBM was accompanied by pharyngeal dyskinesia and in another by laryngomalacia). Malacia disorders were associated with gastroesophageal reflux, cardiovascular anomalies, and tracheoeosophageal fistula. TM and BM should be considered in the differential diagnosis of children with chronic and recurrent respiratory symptoms. Early diagnosis of malacia disorders will prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics or antiasthmatic drugs, which are often abused to treat these children. In these patients, treatment for associated diseases should also be considered.

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