Relations

Lying partly in the neck and partly in the thorax, its relations are:

Cervical

• anteriorly — the isthmus of thyroid gland, inferior thyroid veins, ster-nohyoid and sternothyroid muscles;

• laterally—the lobes of thyroid gland and the common carotid artery;

• posteriorly— the oesophagus with the recurrent laryngeal nerve lying in the groove between oesophagus and trachea (Fig. 16).

Thoracic

In the superior mediastinum its relations are:

• anteriorly—commencement of the brachiocephalic (innominate) artery

Innominate Artery Relations
Fig. 14 The trachea and its anterior relationships.
Cervical Portion The Trachea
Fig. 15 The trachea and main bronchi viewed from the front.

Fig. 16 The cervical part of the trachea and its environs in transverse section (through the 6th cervical vertebra).

Pretracheal fascia (containing thyroid, trachea, oesophagus and recurrent nerve)

Investing fascia

Anterior jugular vein

Pretracheal fascia (containing thyroid, trachea, oesophagus and recurrent nerve)

Investing fascia

Anterior jugular vein

Pre Tracheal Fascia

Sternocleidomastoid

Sternohyoid

Sternothyroid

Omohyoid fo- External jugular vein

Pre-vertebral fascia

Sternocleidomastoid

Sternohyoid

Sternothyroid

Omohyoid fo- External jugular vein

Pre-vertebral fascia

Carotid sheath (containing common carotid artery, internal jugular vein, and vagus nerve) with sympathetic chain behind and left carotid artery, both arising from the arch of the aorta, the left brachiocephalic (innominate) vein, and the thymus;

• posteriorly—oesophagus and left recurrent laryngeal nerve;

• to the left — arch of the aorta, left common carotid and left subclavian arteries, left recurrent laryngeal nerve and pleura;

• to the right—vagus, azygos vein and pleura (Fig. 17).

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