Bacterial Tracheitis

  • Etiology: Purulent infection of trachea where plaques form along tracheal walls, multimicrobial but often Staphlococcus aureus or Streptococcus, primarily bacterial or bacterial superinfection post viral, plaques can occlude airway
  • Imaging: glottic + subglottic process, AP radiograph – subglottic narrowing, lateral radiograph – loss of definition of trachea / membranes and plaques in trachea / candle dripping sign, 50% have bacterial pneumonia on CXR
  • Clinical: older and more ill than those with croup, symptoms are high grade fever / elevated white blood cell count / shortness of breath / stridor / sore throat

Radiology Cases of Bacterial Tracheitis

Radiograph of bacterial tracheitis
Lateral radiograph of the airway shows loss of definition of the trachea and membranes / plaques within it.