Part of the respiratory tract which extends from the pharynx to the carina where it bifurcates into principal bronchi. It is about 10-11 cm long. it extends from the level of C6 vertebra to the upper border of the T5 vertebra. It lies in the median plane and its bifurcation may be at a point slightly to the right of the median plane. It is related to the skin, superficial and deep fasciae and crossed by jugular arch which interconnects the anterior jugular veins in the cervical portion. The 2nd-4th tracheal rings are related to the isthmus of thyroid gland. In the child the brachiocephalic trunk passes in front of it. It is related posteriorly to the esophagus, left and right recurrent laryngneal nerves. It is related laterally to the lobes of thyroid gland.

In the thorax it is related anteriorly to the following structures- manubrium sterni, origin of sternohyoid and sternothyroid, thymus, arch of aorta, brachiocephalic trunk, left common carotid artery, inferior thyroid vein, left brachiocephalic vein and deep branch of cardiac plexus. It is related posteriorly to the esophagus. On the right it is related to the right lung and pleura together with right brachiocephalic vein, superior vena cava, right vagus nerve and azygovs vein. On the left it is related to the arch of aorta, left subclavian and left common carotid arteries.




Left side of trachea Right side of trachea Front of trachea Schematic diagram of trachea

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