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Congenital esophageal stenosis associated with esophageal atresia: new concepts

Congenital esophageal stenosis associated with esophageal atresia: new concepts

Pediatric Surgery International 23(6): 533-537

Congenital esophageal stenosis (CES) is suspected by a fixed intrinsic narrowing of the esophagus that affects the normal swallowing mechanism. The diagnosis is only confirmed by histopathologic picture, which may show fibromuscular disease (FMD) or tracheobronchial remnants (TBR). The latter involves ciliated pseudo stratified columnar epithelium, seromucous glands or cartilage each alone or in combination. The aim of this study is to document the usefulness of histologic picture of surgical specimens obtained from the lower esophageal pouch (LEP) during primary repair in detecting cases of CES associated with esophageal atresia (EA) with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF). Over an 8-year period, 57 consecutive cases operated upon for EA with or without TEF were subjected for histologic examination of surgical specimens obtained from the tip of the LEP. Cases that histologically showed FMD or TBR were included. The usefulness of this histologic picture as a diagnostic and therapeutic aid is assessed. Methods of treatment and outcome were also reviewed. Eight patients out of 57 (14%) had a histologic picture suggestive of CES, two with FMD, four with TBR without cartilage and two with cartilage. Out of 57 patients, 23 developed strictures, six of them had positive biopsies suggestive of CES. One patient with TBR without cartilage did not have stricture. Another case of pure atresia had LEP resection and gastric pull up showed cartilage involving the whole lower esophagus. Excluding the case of pure EA with gastric pull up, all patients suffered from feeding problems and recurrent aspiration. Fluoroscopic barium studies showed late onset minor dysmotility in five patients and late onset major dysmotility in two. All cases studied showed significant gastro-esophageal reflux (GER). Stricture was seen at the anastomotic site extending distally in the two fibromuscular cases and one case with cartilage, at the anastomotic site in three cases with TBR without cartilage. Anti reflux surgical procedures were performed in four patients without benefit in two patients with major dysmotility. Dilatation was successful in the three patients with TBR without cartilage. One patient with cartilage had resection of the anastomotic site and required frequent dilatations and is now doing well. A case of FMD did not improve after frequent dilatations and myotomy together with Nissen's fundoplication and required resection while the other case of FMD responded partially to dilatations. Cartilage in cases of CES requires surgical resection. Those with TBR without cartilage may not develop stricture. If stricture develops, it responds well to dilatation and patients have good clinical outcomes. Unlike isolated CES, GER is a significant feature in CES with EA. Anti reflux procedures should be avoided before definitive surgery for the stricture and if necessary a partial wrap with gastrostomy is recommended. CES should be considered in the etiology of anastomotic stricture. Taking a surgical specimen routinely from the tip of the LEP during primary esophageal repair for histologic studies is highly recommended.

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Accession: 052297202

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17437115

DOI: 10.1007/s00383-007-1927-5

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