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Acute Tracheitis

Last updated March 11, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Tracheitis is a rare bacterial infection of the trachea (windpipe/ breathing tube). It usually follows a recent upper respiratory tract viral infection, such a common cold.


The topic Acute Tracheitis you are seeking is a synonym, or alternative name, or is closely related to the medical condition Bacterial Tracheitis.

Quick Summary:

  • Tracheitis is a rare bacterial infection of the trachea (windpipe/ breathing tube). It usually follows a recent upper respiratory tract viral infection, such a common cold
  • Bacterial Tracheitis may cause severe airway obstruction that may result in a life-threatening situation. The most common organism responsible for the infection is Staphylococcus aureus
  • The major site of the disease is at the narrowest part of the trachea. The infection leads to a collection of pus with membrane formation in the trachea, which interferes with breathing
  • Bacterial Tracheitis usually affects pre-school and early school-aged children. It is very serious in young children, possibly because of their small trachea that is easily blocked by swelling
  • The classic signs and symptoms of Bacterial Tracheitis include deep cough, high-grade fever, stridor (high-pitched abnormal sound while breathing), and difficulty in breathing. The condition is diagnosed by history, physical examination, along with a few tests that include tracheal culture, x-ray of the trachea, and laryngobronchoscopy
  • This Bacterial Infection of the Trachea is treated with antibiotics. A majority of the children recover with no long-term complications; the most dangerous complication of Tracheitis is obstruction of the airways, which may even result in death
  • Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent Bacterial Tracheitis

Please find comprehensive information on Bacterial Tracheitis regarding definition, distribution, risk factors, causes, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, complications, treatment, prevention, prognosis, and additional useful information HERE.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: July 11, 2017
Last updated: March 11, 2018