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J Pediatr Surg. 1996 Mar;31(3):334-6.

Balloon dilation of esophageal strictures in children.

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  • 1Division of Vascular/Interventional Radiology, Hartford Hospital, CT 06106, USA.


Esophageal strictures in children may develop as a primary constriction, secondary to a surgically repaired esophageal atresia (with or without tracheoesophageal fistula), as a result of chemical injury after caustic ingestion, or following esophageal surgery. Traditional treatment of esophageal strictures has been limited to dilation (using bougie dilators) with esophagoscopy under general anesthesia. Recent reports have shown success with fluoroscopically guided balloon catheter dilation. Eight children (aged 2 months to 14 years) were treated with balloon catheter dilation for focal strictures of the esophagus. In six of the eight cases, complete resolution of the strictures was achieved after an average of 7.5 dilations (range, 1 to 14). Two of the eight patients moved to another part of the country and did not complete treatment. There has been no morbidity or mortality. In selected centers, balloon catheter dilation under fluoroscopic guidance has become a safe treatment of benign esophageal strictures in children. It should be considered the treatment of choice in the initial management of esophageal narrowing and appears to be safer than the more traditional methods of esophageal dilation.

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