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J Med Liban. 2011 Jul-Sep;59(3):162-4.

Acquired nonmalignant tracheoesophageal fistula.

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Departments of Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery Division, St George Hospital University Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.


Acquired nonmalignant tracheoesophageal fistula is a rare clinical entity and a difficult problem to diagnose and manage. We report a 59-year-old woman diagnosed with a tracheoesophageal fistula secondary to prolonged intubation. The diagnosis was delayed for a year, hence her mild symptoms; cough and dysphagia mainly to liquids. These symptoms were thought to be side effects of her psychiatric medications especially that she had a buccal and lingual dyskinesia. She later had a trial of conservative treatment that failed and then she underwent surgical resection of the fistula and interposition of a muscle flap. Acquired nonmalignant tracheoesophageal fistula is a preventable disease in intubated patient if some measures are taken, but even with the use of the newer endotracheal tubes (high-volume, low-pressure cuffs) this complication can still occur. The surgical treatment remains the best option.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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