What Are Tracheal and Bronchial Stenosis?

Stenosis refers to an abnormal narrowing. Tracheal stenosis is the narrowing of the trachea, or windpipe, and bronchial stenosis is the narrowing of the bronchial tubes, which branch off the trachea into the lungs. Sometimes both airways are constricted, which is referred to as tracheobronchial stenosis.

The trachea and the bronchial tubes are muscular structures that are lined with mucus membranes. Stenosis can occur as a congenital (present at birth) condition or as a result of prolonged intubation (breathing tube used during hospitalization), benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumor or a number of other causes.