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Dysphagia. 2010 Dec;25(4):271-6. doi: 10.1007/s00455-009-9251-y. Epub 2009 Sep 2.

Esophageal complications following aluminium phosphide ingestion: an emerging issue among survivors of poisoning.

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Gastroenterology Division, Department of Medicine, Gandhi Medical College, E-5/193 B-2 Arera Colony, Bhopal, 462016, Madhya Pradesh, India.


Aluminium phosphide ingestion is the most common agricultural poisoning in suburban and rural India and with a high mortality rate. Among survivors of acute poisoning there are recent sporadic reports of esophageal complications such as esophageal strictures and tracheo-esophageal fistula. The present study was carried out to determine the incidence, natural history, and treatment outcome of local esophageal complications in survivors of aluminium phosphide poisoning with complaints of dysphagia. All confirmed cases of poisoning with aluminium phosphide ingestion were admitted in Hamidia Hospital, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, from October 2007 to October 2008. Survivors with complaints of dysphagia underwent a barium study and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to determine site and nature of esophageal complications. All cases of strictures were treated with fluoroscopy-guided Savary-Gilliard bougie dilation, and patients with tracheo-esophageal fistula underwent surgery. Of 104 confirmed cases, 31 survived. Ten survivors with dysphagia were found to have single short-segment esophageal stricture and two patients with odynophagia and swallow-cough sequence had tracheo-esophageal fistula. All cases of esophageal strictures responded successfully to Savary-Gilliard dilation in six to ten sessions without any major complications. Patients with tracheo-esophageal fistula were treated successfully via surgery. Nearly one-third of survivors of aluminium phosphide ingestion developed esophageal complications. Hence, we conclude that all survivors of aluminium phosphide poisoning must undergo barium swallow and endoscopic examination for early detection of esophageal complications. Prevention of esophageal complications after aluminium phosphide ingestion needs to be given adequate attention because tracheo-esophageal fistula and esophageal stricture are associated with high morbidity. When one finds esophageal stricture or fistula, the possibility of aluminium phosphide ingestion should always be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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