- Vertebrate trachea
Name = Vertebrate trachea
GraySubject = 237
GrayPage = 1084
Caption = Conducting passages.
Caption2 = Laryngoscopic view of interior of larynx. (Trachea labeled at bottom.)
tracheal branches of inferior thyroid artery
MeshName = Trachea
MeshNumber = A04.889 | DorlandsPre =
The traceartes, or windpipe, is a tube that has an inner diameter of about 20-25 mm and a length of about 10-16 cm in humans. It commences at the
larynx(at the level vertebral level of C6 in humans) and bifurcates into the primary (main) bronchi (at the vertebral level of T4/T5 in humans) in mammals, and from the pharynxto the syrinx in birds, allowing the passage of airto the lungs. It is lined with pseudostratified ciliated columnar epitheliumcells with mucosae goblet cells which produce mucus. This mucus lines the cells of the trachea to trap inhaled foreign particles which the cilia then waft upwards towards their larynxand then the pharynxwhere it can then be swallowed into the stomach.
In humans there are about 15 – 20 incomplete C-shaped cartilaginous rings which reinforces the anterior and lateral sides of the trachea to protect and maintain the airway open. There is a piece of
smooth muscleconnecting the ends off the incomplete cartilaginous rings called the Trachealis muscle. This contracts reducing the size of the lumen of the trachea to increase the air flow rate during coughing. The esophaguslies posteriorly to the trachea. The cartilaginous rings are incomplete because this allows the trachea to collapse slightly to allow food to pass down the esophagus. The epiglottisis the flap that closes the trachea during swallowing to prevent swallowed matter from entering the trachea.
intubationis the medical procedure of inserting an artificial tube into the trachea to provide a secure route for ventilating the lungs. Tracheotomyis a surgical procedure of making an opening in the front of the neck that extends to the lumen of the trachea, a short tube called a tracheostomy tubeis inserted through this opening, entering below the level of the larynxand vocal cords.
Tracheal diseases and conditions
The following are diseases and conditions that affect the trachea:
Tracheomalacia(weakening of the tracheal cartilage)
Tracheal collapse(in dogs)
Tracheobronchial injury(perforation of the trachea or bronchi)
Mounier-Kuhn syndrome(causes abnormal enlargement of the trachea)
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