Tracheoesophageal Fistula

  • Tracheoesophageal Fistulas are congenital anatomic disorders resulting in an inappropriate connection between the trachea and esophagus due to an abnormality in development.
  • Several different anatomic subtypes of tracheoesphageal fistulas exist and are listed below in decreasing order of incidence. The most common subtype results in the upper esophagus ending in a blind sac and the lower esophagus communicating with the trachea. The second most common subtypes results in the upper esophagus communicating with the trachea and the lower Esophagus ending in a blind sac. The least common subtype results in a single, continuous esophagus communicating with the trachea at a single location.
Clinical Consequences
  • Tracheoesophageal fistulas are usually discovered in neonates upon feeding when milk ingestion results in food regurgitation or in aspiration and thus cyanosis.
  • Tracheoesophageal fistulas must be treated immediately with surgery as the condition is not compatible with life.