Bronchial Transection: Diagnosis and Management

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Tracheobronchial disruption is a rare finding among the spectrum of injuries associated with blunt chest trauma. Furthermore, the presence of bronchial rupture is seldom appreciated in the acute setting, permitting a variety of potential subacute and long-term complications to ensue. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging can often be limited in their ability to recognize the presence of significant airway injury. We present a case of blunt chest trauma associated with complete bronchial transection that was characterized by delayed recognition, resulting in eventual endobronchial granulation with complete airway occlusion. On diagnosis, the patient underwent a successful surgical end-to-end bronchial anastomosis and was discharged home without further complication.

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