The role of the pediatrician in caring for children with tracheobronchomalacia

Manisha Ramphul, Andrew Bush, Anne Chang, Kostas N Prifits, Colin Wallis, Jayesh M. Bhatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Children with tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) experience excessive dynamic collapse of the central airway(s). TBM remains an under-diagnosed condition, and there is on ongoing need to raise awareness amongst pediatricians.

Areas covered: The literature from PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Controlled Trials Register electronic databases was searched from 1 January 1980 to 14 January 2020. Eligible studies relating to the diagnosis, investigation and management of tracheobronchomalacia in children were included. In this review, we highlight the clinical symptoms of TBM such as the typical barking cough, wheezing, recurrent lower respiratory tract infections or acute life-threatening events. These symptoms worsen when the child is making increased respiratory efforts, such as during crying, coughing and during intercurrent infective illness. This article focuses on the role of the pediatrician in recognizing the condition, the investigative process, and the medical management based on the clinical severity. The principle of management should be holistic, tackling the medical issues of TBM and associated comorbidities, as providing support to families.

Expert opinion: There remains a need to devise objective and reproducible bronchoscopic and radiological definitions of severity of TBM. Further studies looking at long-term outcomes of medical therapies used in TBM are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-689
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Respiratory Medicine
Issue number7
Early online date21 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


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