Skip to Content

trachea

Pronunciation: tra'ke-a, -ke-e

Definition: The air tube extending from the larynx into the thorax to the level of the fifth or sixth thoracic vertebra where it bifurcates into the right and left bronchi. The trachea is composed of 16–20 incomplete rings of hyaline cartilage connected by a membrane (anular ligament); posteriorly, the rings are deficient for one fifth to one third of their circumference, the interval forming the membranous wall being closed by a fibrous membrane containing smooth muscular fibers. Internally, the mucosa is composed of a pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium with mucous goblet cells; numerous small mixed mucous and serous glands occur, the ducts of which open to the surface of the epithelium.

Synonym(s): windpipe

[G. tracheia arteria, rough artery]

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
Hide