Tracheobronchial tear in chest trauma—a diagnostic perplexity

Guruprasad Rai, Ganesh Sevagur Kamath, Rajkamal Vishnu, Shaheem Shanavas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tracheobronchial injuries following blunt chest trauma are uncommon and diagnosed late. Tracheal rupture due to a fall from a height is rare. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment give gratifying results. We present a case of a 42-year-old man who was referred at our hospital with alleged history of fall from a height of about 12 ft from a tree. On presentation, the patient was haemodynamically stable and right-sided ICT was already inserted. There was a minimal surgical emphysema in the neck, a continuous air leak from the chest tube and a partially collapsed right lung on chest X-ray. After a few hours, he desaturated and was intubated. The right lung did not expand in spite of the second apical chest tube, and on ventilation, air leak increased. Tracheabronchial tear was suspected and computerised tomography scan revealed the site of damage and fibreoptic bronchoscopy confirmed the diagnosis. Emergency thoracotomy with primary repair of the right tracheabronchial tear was done. The patient recovered and post-operative course was uneventful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-412
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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