Imaging of the trachea
Numerous benign and malignant tracheal diseases may affect the trachea primarily and secondarily. While the posterior anterior (PA) and lateral chest radiograph is the conventional study for initial evaluation of the trachea and central airways, findings may not always be apparent on conventional radiographs, and further evaluation with cross sectional imaging is usually necessary. Computed tomography (CT) is the imaging modality of choice for imaging the trachea and bronchi. Familiarity with the imaging appearances of the normal and diseased trachea will enhance diagnostic evaluation.