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Table of Contents > Health Dictionary > Tracheal tug

Tracheal tug

1. A downward pull of the trachea, manifested by a downward movement of the thyroid cartilage, synchronous with the action of the heart and symptomatic of an aneurysm of the aortic arch; the sign is elicited most easily by drawing the cricoid cartilage upward with the thumb and forefinger while the patient sits with head thrown back and mouth closed. 2. A jerky type of inspiration seen when the intercostal muscles and the sternocostal parts of the diaphragm are paralyzed by deep general anesthesia or muscle relaxants; due to the unopposed action of the crura's pulling on the dome of the diaphragm and thence on the pericardium, lung roots, and tracheobronchial tree during each inspiration.
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