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Chest Surg Clin N Am. 1996 Nov;6(4):819-36.

Management of acquired tracheoesophageal fistula.

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Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Hôpital Marie-Lannelongue, Paris-Sud University, Le Plessis Robinson, France.


Acquired, nonmalignant tracheoesophageal fistulae usually result from erosion of the tracheal and esophageal walls by endotracheal or tracheostomy tube cuffs, especially when a rigid nasogastric tube is in place. This has become an infrequent occurrence with the use of high-volume, low-pressure cuffs, but it still represents a life-threatening condition. Spontaneous recovery is exceptional. Most are diagnosed while patients still are mechanically ventilated and, due to the negative effects of positive pressure ventilation on tracheal suture lines, repair should be delayed until patients are weaned. After the patients is weaned from the ventilator, a one-staged anterior approach including esophageal closure, segmental tracheal resection, and primary reconstruction definitely corrects the fistula and removes concurrent tracheal disease and should be preferred to simple division and closure of the fistula.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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