Reviewer: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 10 June 2013, last major update August 2012
Copyright: (c) 2003-2013, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.
- Group of congenital anomalies consisting of interruption of continuity of esophagus with or without a persistent communication with trachea (Orphanet J Rare Dis 2007;2:24, eMedicine #1; #2)
- Esophageal segment usually a thin, non-canalized cord with a proximal blind pouch connected to pharynx and a distal pouch leading to stomach
- Present in 1 per 2500 live births, etiology unknown but not genetic (risk in siblings is only 1%)
- Discovered shortly after birth due to immediate regurgitation after feeding
- Usually near tracheal bifurcation; fistula present in > 80% (see topic fistula) connecting the upper or lower pouch with the trachea or a bronchus; also associated with congenital heart disease, neurologic disease, GI or GU malformations in 50%; also single umbilical artery
- Most common is a blind upper segment, fistula between blind lower segment and trachea (Gross's Type C)
- Diagnosis: inability to pass a nasogastric tube
- Late complications: tracheomalacia, esophageal stricture, gastroesophageal reflux (Chest 2004;126:915)
- Surgery (early since incompatible with life) is usually successful, but potential complications are GERD, esophagitis (J Pediatr Surg 2007;42:370) and tracheomalacia
End of Esophagus > Congenital anomalies > Atresia
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