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Congenital bronchoesophageal fistula in adults

Author(s): Bao-Shi Zhang, Nai-Kang Zhou, Chang-Hai Yu

Journal: World Journal of Gastroenterology
ISSN 1007-9327

Volume: 17;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 1358;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Congenital bronchoesophageal fistula | Adult | Esophagography | Surgical treatment

AIM: To study the clinical characteristics, diagnosis and surgical treatment of congenital bronchoesophageal fistulae in adults.METHODS: Eleven adult cases of congenital bronchoesophageal fistula diagnosed and treated in our hospital between May 1990 and August 2010 were reviewed. Its clinical presentations, diagnostic methods, anatomic type, treatment, and follow-up were recorded.RESULTS: Of the chief clinical presentations, nonspecific cough and sputum were found in 10 (90.9%), recurrent bouts of cough after drinking liquid food in 6 (54.6%), hemoptysis in 6 (54.6%), low fever in 4 (36.4%), and chest pain in 3 (27.3%) of the 11 cases, respectively. The duration of symptoms before diagnosis ranged 5-36.5 years. The diagnosis of congenital bronchoesophageal fistulae was established in 9 patients by barium esophagography, in 1 patient by esophagoscopy and in 1 patient by bronchoscopy, respectively. The congenital bronchoesophageal fistulae communicated with a segmental bronchus, a main bronchus, and an intermediate bronchus in 8, 2 and 1 patients, respectively. The treatment of congenital bronchoesophageal fistulae involved excision of the fistula in 10 patients or division and suturing in 1 patient. The associated lung lesion was removed in all patients. No long-term sequelae were found during the postoperative follow-up except in 1 patient with bronchial fistula who accepted reoperation before recovery.CONCLUSION: Congenital bronchoesophageal fistula is rare in adults. Its most useful diagnostic method is esophagography. It must be treated surgically as soon as the diagnosis is established.
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