Esophageal lung with multiple congenital anomalies: conundrums in diagnosis and management

J Pediatr Surg. 1999 Apr;34(4):615-8. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(99)90087-8.


Background/purpose: Communicating bronchopulmonary foregut malformations (CBPFM) are a diverse group of potentially devastating congenital anomalies with anatomy that may be difficult to delineate. The authors present a case that illustrates conundrums in the diagnosis and management of these complex disorders.

Methods: A term baby had esophageal atresia (EA), tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), and tetralogy of Fallot. Initially, a gastrostomy was performed, and a balloon catheter was inserted through the endotracheal tube to occlude the fistula until the patient was hemodynamically stable. Subsequently, the fistula was ligated. Postoperatively, the left lung collapsed, and bronchoscopy showed an atretic left mainstem bronchus. Repeat thoracotomy showed that the fistula ligation was intact. Air was introduced through the gastrostomy tube, and, surprisingly, the left lung inflated, indicating the left mainstem bronchus arose from the esophagus distal to the ligated TEF.

Results: Despite reopening this fistula, ventilation remained poor, and support was withdrawn. Autopsy findings confirmed a unilobed left lung arising from the esophagus, EA, TEF, an atretic left mainstem bronchus, tetralogy of Fallot, and DiGeorge syndrome.

Conclusions: This is the first report of a combination of EA and distal TEF with a second CBPFM involving the esophagus and the entire left lung. Successful correction of these anomalies will require extensive delineation of the anatomy to plan an operative strategy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / epidemiology
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / surgery*
  • Esophageal Atresia / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / abnormalities*
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / complications
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / complications