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Esophageal atresia with proximal tracheoesophageal fistula: A missed diagnosis

  • Filippo Parolini
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 3497232674(mobile), +39 02 55032545(work); fax: +39 02 55036570.
    Affiliations
    Department of Paediatric Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale, Maggiore Policlinico, Padiglione Alfieri (Chirurgia Pediatrica), Via Commenda, 10 20122 Milano, Italy
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  • Anna Morandi
    Affiliations
    Department of Paediatric Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale, Maggiore Policlinico, Padiglione Alfieri (Chirurgia Pediatrica), Via Commenda, 10 20122 Milano, Italy
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  • Francesco Macchini
    Affiliations
    Department of Paediatric Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale, Maggiore Policlinico, Padiglione Alfieri (Chirurgia Pediatrica), Via Commenda, 10 20122 Milano, Italy
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  • Lorena Canazza
    Affiliations
    Department of Paediatric Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale, Maggiore Policlinico, Padiglione Alfieri (Chirurgia Pediatrica), Via Commenda, 10 20122 Milano, Italy
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  • Maurizio Torricelli
    Affiliations
    Department of Paediatric Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale, Maggiore Policlinico, Padiglione Alfieri (Chirurgia Pediatrica), Via Commenda, 10 20122 Milano, Italy
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  • Andrea Zanini
    Affiliations
    Department of Paediatric Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale, Maggiore Policlinico, Padiglione Alfieri (Chirurgia Pediatrica), Via Commenda, 10 20122 Milano, Italy
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  • Ernesto Leva
    Affiliations
    Department of Paediatric Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale, Maggiore Policlinico, Padiglione Alfieri (Chirurgia Pediatrica), Via Commenda, 10 20122 Milano, Italy
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      Abstract

      Aim of the Study

      This retrospective study was performed to compare the relative incidence of esophageal atresia (EA) with proximal tracheoesophageal fistula (PTEF) at our institution with those reported in literature and to test the hypothesis that our higher relative incidence is caused by the routine use of tracheoscopy.

      Methods

      A total of 204 children with EA were managed at our institution from 1981 to 2012. The type of EA and the diagnostic assessment were noted, and the relative incidence of PTEF was calculated. For patients managed from 1981 to 2003 (Group 1), the PTEF was diagnosed by contrast esophagogram or during surgical repair. For those born after 2004 (Group 2), the final diagnosis was made by routine rigid tracheoscopy performed preoperatively. The relative incidence of PTEF was compared between these two groups and with those reported in 15 selected published large series, encompassing 4197 patients with EA.

      Main Results

      Of 204 patients with EA, 10 had PTEF, with a relative incidence of 4.9%, statistically higher than those reported in reference group (1.14%, P < 0.001). The routine employ of tracheoscopy involved a higher relative incidence of PTEF (Group 2 = 11.11%, Group 1 = 3.14%, P = 0.038). The age of diagnosis of PTEF was 2.8 days for children of Group 2 and 4.2 days for Group 1 (P = 0.038).

      Conclusion

      The presence of the proximal TEF should be always ruled out before surgery. Routine employ of rigid tracheoscopy avoids delay of the diagnosis, improves diagnostic accuracy, and involves a higher relative incidence of proximal fistul. This procedure should be recommended in children undergoing EA repair.

      Abbreviations:

      EA (esophageal atresia), PTEF (proximal tracheoesophageal fistula), SD (standard deviation), TEF (tracheoesophageal fistula)

      Key words

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