Isolated tracheoesophageal fistula in a 10-year-old girl

Eur J Pediatr. 2007 Sep;166(9):911-4. doi: 10.1007/s00431-006-0336-4. Epub 2006 Nov 21.


Isolated tracheoesophageal fistula (H-TOF) is a rare type of tracheoesophageal anomaly and is in most cases diagnosed in the neonatal period because of choking and cyanosis during feeding. Diagnosis may be delayed even until adulthood because of nonspecific and sometimes intermittent symptoms, and because false-negative results of all diagnostic tools are not uncommon. We report a 10-year-old child with H-TOF, whose symptoms had nearly disappeared completely between the ages of 4 and 10 years. Diagnosis was only possible after the recurrence of the symptoms at the time of an episode of bronchitis, profound interrogation of the child's medical history, and questioning of the results of a former diagnostic work-up. In this article, we discuss the potential pitfalls in both clinical diagnosis and diagnostic work-up.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bronchitis / etiology*
  • Child
  • Esophagus / abnormalities
  • Esophagus / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Methylene Blue
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / complications
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / diagnostic imaging*


  • Methylene Blue