Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Tracheal and Bronchial Stenosis

There are a number of causes of tracheal and bronchial stenosis, but the most common is prolonged intubation, or use of a breathing tube.

Other causes include:

  • Congenital (present at birth)
  • External injury to the throat
  • Infection
  • Benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumor
  • Lung transplant
  • Inhaled chemicals
  • Radiation therapy
  • Autoimmune disease, including sarcoidosis
  • Idiopathic (no reason found for the stenosis)

Diagnosing tracheal and bronchial stenosis

  • X-ray: A chest X-ray can identify the presence of blockages or fluids creating pressure.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: This test combines X-ray and computer technology to produce detailed cross-sectional images of your chest cavity.
  • Bronchoscopy: An endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end) is inserted into your airway to check for blockages.
  • Bronchoscope biopsy: An endoscope is inserted into your airway and tiny instruments are used to take a biopsy (small tissue sample) for testing.