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Cir Cir. 2011 Nov-Dec;79(6):505-10.

Tracheal dimensions in the Mexican population.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Servicio de Cirugía Torácica, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro, Madrid, Spain.



There are few studies regarding the measurement of tracheal dimensions. Most are focused on morphology and tracheal development. The aim of this study was to determine the length and tracheal diameter of adults in our population and its correlation with external measurements.


The study design was prospective, observational and descriptive. We included a nonrandom sampling of deaths of Mexican national citizens who were between 18 and 65 year old. The study period was from June 1 to November 30, 2009, and the study was carried out at the facilities of the Forensic Medical Service of the Federal District, Mexico. Standardized measurements of tracheal diameter and length were correlated with external measurements.


We dissected 44 cadavers, 19 (43%) females and 25 (57%) males. In females the average age was 39.2 ± 13.9 years (range: 19-61 years), average height 161.9 ± 7.4 cm (range: 154-179 cm), tracheal length (TL) 8.6 ± 0.5 cm (range: 7.8-9.5 cm) and transverse diameter (TD) 1.7 ± 0.3 cm (range: 1.3-2.0 cm). Average age of males was 36.4 ± 14.4 years (range: 19-65 years), average height 169.8 ± 6.7 cm (range: 156-184 cm), TL 9.1 ± 0.9 cm (range: 8.0-10.7) and TD 1.9 ± 0.2 cm (range: 1.6-2.3 cm). TL was significantly correlated with sternal length (0.82, p <0.0001) and age (0.56, p = 0.0003). According to gender, there was no significant correlation between TL and height.


We found a low average TL and no significant correlation with height. These data should be considered when carrying out direct procedures on the trachea.

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