Larynx, hypopharynx & trachea
Anatomy - trachea

Topic Completed: 1 October 2012

Minor changes: 26 November 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Trachea [title] normal anatomy human

Adriana Handra-Luca, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 85
Page views in 2020 to date: 70
Cite this page: Handra-Luca, A. Anatomy - trachea. website. Accessed May 29th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Cartilaginous and membranous tube (also called windpipe), extending from lower larynx at C6 to upper border of T5 vertebrae, where it divides into right and left mainstem bronchi
  • Flattened posteriorly
  • 11 cm long, 2 - 2.5 cm in diameter, diameter greater in men than women, greater in adults than children
  • Anteriorly: contacts thyroid isthmus, inferior thyroid veins, neck muscles, cervical fascia, anterior jugular veins, manubrium sterni, thymus, left innominate vein, aortic arch, innominate and left common carotid arteries, deep cardiac plexus
  • Posteriorly: contacts esophagus
  • Right bronchus appears to be a more direct continuation of trachea and so is the site of most foreign bodies
  • Supplied by inferior thyroid arteries
Diagrams / tables

Images hosted on other servers:

Trachea and bronchi

Tracheal bifurcation

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