Carina of Trachea
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Carina of Trachea
Carina of trachea
Cartilages of larynx, trachea and bronchi. (Carina is at the point of bifurcation.)
Transverse section of the trachea, just above its bifurcation, with a bird's-eye view of the interior. (Carina not labeled; the ridge that separates the left and right bronchus.)
SystemRespiratory system
LatinCarina tracheae, bifurcatio tracheae
Anatomical terminology

In anatomy, the carina is a ridge of cartilage in the trachea that occurs between the division of the two main bronchi.[1][2]


The carina occurs at the lower end of the trachea (usually at the level of the 4th to 5th thoracic vertebra).[1][3] This is in line with the sternal angle, but the carina may raise or descend up to two vertebrae higher or lower with breathing. The carina lies to the left of the midline, and runs antero-posteriorly (front to back).

The bronchial arteries supply the carina and the rest of the lower trachea.[4]

The carina is around the area posterior to where the aortic arch crosses to the left of the trachea.[3] The azygos vein crosses right to the trachea above the carina.[5]

Clinical significance

Foreign bodies that fall down the trachea are more likely to enter the right bronchus.

The mucous membrane of the carina is the most sensitive area of the trachea and larynx for triggering a cough reflex.

Widening and distortion of the carina is a serious sign because it usually indicates carcinoma of the lymph nodes around the region where the trachea divides.

Tracheobronchial injury, an injury to the airways, occurs within 2.5 cm of the carina 60% of the time.[6]

Additional images


  1. ^ a b Fernandez, Luis G.; Norwood, Scott H.; Berne, John D. (2008-01-01), Asensio, JUAN A.; Trunkey, DONALD D. (eds.), "CHAPTER 32 - TRACHEAL, LARYNGEAL, AND OROPHARYNGEAL INJURIES", Current Therapy of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Philadelphia: Mosby, pp. 215-226, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-04418-9.50036-9, ISBN 978-0-323-04418-9, retrieved
  2. ^ Reynolds, Susan D.; Pinkerton, Kent E.; Mariassy, Andrew T. (2015-01-01), Parent, Richard A. (ed.), "Chapter 6 - Epithelial Cells of Trachea and Bronchi", Comparative Biology of the Normal Lung (Second Edition), San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 61-81, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-404577-4.00006-0, ISBN 978-0-12-404577-4, retrieved
  3. ^ a b Schipper, Paul; Sukumar, Mithran; Mayberry, John C. (2008-01-01), Asensio, JUAN A.; Trunkey, DONALD D. (eds.), "CHAPTER 33 - PERTINENT SURGICAL ANATOMY OF THE THORAX AND MEDIASTINUM", Current Therapy of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Philadelphia: Mosby, pp. 227-251, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-04418-9.50037-0, ISBN 978-0-323-04418-9, retrieved
  4. ^ Acocella, F.; Brizzola, S. (2011-01-01), Bosworth, Lucy A.; Downes, Sandra (eds.), "12 - Tracheal tissue regeneration", Electrospinning for Tissue Regeneration, Woodhead Publishing Series in Biomaterials, Woodhead Publishing, pp. 242-279, doi:10.1533/9780857092915.2.242, ISBN 978-1-84569-741-9, retrieved
  5. ^ Hardie, E. (2014-01-01), Langley-Hobbs, Sorrel J.; Demetriou, Jackie L.; Ladlow, Jane F. (eds.), "Chapter 46 - Trachea and bronchus", Feline Soft Tissue and General Surgery, W.B. Saunders, pp. 531-540, doi:10.1016/b978-0-7020-4336-9.00046-9, ISBN 978-0-7020-4336-9, retrieved
  6. ^ Chu CP, Chen PP (April 2002). "Tracheobronchial injury secondary to blunt chest trauma: Diagnosis and management". Anaesth Intensive Care. 30 (2): 145-52. PMID 12002920.

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the U.S. National Cancer Institute document: "Dictionary of Cancer Terms".

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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