Tracheal atresia (TA) is an extremely rare anomaly and refers to a congenital absence of the trachea.
There may be a greater male predilection .
Tracheal atresia falls under the spectrum of laryngeal-tracheo-bronchial atresia which in turn results either from an obstructing lesion (i.e. cartilaginous bar) or vascular insult with atresia of the airways which occurs during intrauterine development.
Associated anomalies can be present in up to 90% of cases .
- congenital high airways obstruction syndrome (CHAOS): some authors consider this as synonymous with tracheal atresia although the syndrome can occur with a tracheal stenosis or laryngeal atresia/stenosis
- Fraser syndrome
- esophageal atresia with tracheo-esophageal fistula : a tracheal atresia can occur in some of the sub types
- VACTERL association
- may show uniformly increased echogenic enlarged lung +/- pleural effusions +/- fetal ascites
- markedly dilated fluid-filled bronchi may be seen
- may also show ancilliary sonographic features such as the presence of polyhydramnios.
- the fetal cardio-thoracic circumference ratio is decreased due to larger lung volumes
General differential considerations include:
- laryngeal atresia: sometimes can be impossible to differentiate on imaging
- severe congenital tracheal stenosis
- congenital high airways obstruction syndrome