BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to obtain lower airway dimensions in children by means of computed tomography (CT).
METHODS: Chest CT scans from 195 pediatric patients (118 boys/77 girls) aged 0.04-15.99 years were analyzed. Tracheal and bronchial lengths, anterior-posterior and lateral diameters, as well as cross-sectional area were assessed at the following levels: mid trachea, right proximal and distal bronchus, proximal bronchus intermedius, and left proximal and distal bronchus. Mediastinal angles of tracheal bifurcation were measured. Data were analyzed by means of linear and polynomial regression plots.
RESULTS: The strongest correlations were found between tracheal and bronchial diameters and age as well as between tracheal and bronchial lengths and body length. All measured airway parameters correlated poorly to body weight. Bronchial angles revealed no association with patient's age, body length, or weight.
CONCLUSION: This comprehensive anatomical database of lower airway dimensions demonstrates that tracheal and bronchial diameters correlate better to age, and that tracheal and bronchial length correlate better to body length. All measured airway parameters correlated poorly to body weight.