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How Is Tracheobronchomalacia Diagnosed?

It can be challenging for doctors to diagnose tracheobronchomalacia (TBM). Patients often have other chronic lung problems, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These conditions can have similar symptoms to TBM.

The most helpful tests used to diagnose tracheobronchomalacia are dynamic CT scan and dynamic bronchoscopy with forced breathing exercises. At the Temple Lung Center, we use both of these techniques to confirm a diagnosis before deciding your course of treatment.

  • Dynamic bronchoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing tracheobronchomalacia. The test lets doctors look at your airway in real time, accurately capturing dynamic airway properties. It also produces valid results about the degree, extent and location of any disease.
  • Dynamic expiratory (exhaling) CT scan is a way to find abnormal softening of an airway. It's an effective, noninvasive test for diagnosing tracheobronchomalacia.

Your doctor may suspect that you have TBM if you're experiencing some of its typical signs and symptoms or have abnormal pulmonary function tests. Your doctor will then perform more tests to confirm the diagnosis and see how severe it is.

Ready for an Appointment?

For an evaluation of your symptoms, request an appointment online or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536).

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat tracheobronchomalacia.