Endoscopic management of recurrent congenital tracheoesophageal fistula: a review of techniques and results

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2007 May;71(5):691-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2007.02.022. Epub 2007 Apr 3.


Objective: Recurrent tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) is a difficult problem in both diagnosis and management. Revision open repair with thoracotomy is challenging and has a significant associated morbidity. Because of the technical difficulty and the substantial morbidity, several authors have suggested and implemented endoscopic management. This paper reviews and describes the endoscopic techniques and management of recurrent TEF.

Methods: This retrospective study evaluates three patients who underwent endoscopic (bronchoscopic) management of recurrent TEF at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Median follow-up is 48 months. A current literature review is presented with a synthesis of the data on techniques and results.

Results: Two of the three patients had successful bronchoscopic closure using fibrin adhesive. The mean number of procedures required was two. Including these patients, 62 patients with endoscopic closure of congenital TEF have been reported in the literature. The overall success rate is 60% with a mean of 2.1 procedures per patient. Of the obliterating agents described, tissue adhesive and fibrin adhesive have been employed most frequently with success rates of 48 and 55%, respectively.

Conclusion: Endoscopic repair of recurrent TEF is an effective and safe alternative to second thoracotomy and open surgical repair. More than one endoscopic procedure is usually necessary for successful closure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoscopy / methods*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laryngoscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / congenital*
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome