Outcomes of surgical management of tracheobronchial injuries---a case series from a developing country.

Document Type



Cardiothoracic Surgery


Objective:Tracheobronchial injuries are defined as injuries involving the trachea and/or bronchi from the level of the cricoid cartilage extending up to the division of the bronchi. We present a case series with most of the tracheobronchial injuries found to be sustained after penetrating trauma.


A retrospective review was performed at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. From January 2004 to December 2009, 168 Patients with thoracic trauma were treated, of whom 15 were recognized to have major tracheobronchial and pulmonary injuries.


The average age was 31 years with most of the Patients being male (14:1). Among them,11 Patients had penetrating trauma as the main cause of injury, 3 Patients had blunt trauma from road traffic accidents, only 1 Patient had combined trauma (blunt and penetrating trauma). Eight Patients were diagnosed based on radiological findings. All the Patients were treated surgically. Lobectomy was the most common intervention performed in 7 Patients. The mortality rate was 7% (1 Patient). Most Patients survived with no sequelae (10 Patients) while 5 survived with disability. We found that penetrating trauma was the leading cause of injury in our series. The severity of injury depends upon the weapon causing the trauma. Patients in our series had multiple injuries and required surgical management.


Tracheobronchial injuries are rare but potentially life threatening. They require quick diagnosis and management. Diagnosis tends to be difficult since there are no specialised diagnostic modalities available at present.


Chinese Journal of Traumatology = Zhonghua Chuang Shang Za Zhi / Chinese Medical Association