Increasing tendency in caustic esophageal burns and long-term polytetrafluorethylene stenting in severe cases: 10 years experience

J Pediatr Surg. 2007 Apr;42(4):636-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2006.12.012.


In recent years, lye products have come into common household use in Turkey. Unfortunately, we have noted more cases of serious corrosive esophagitis owing to accidental caustic agent ingestion. The aims of this study were to (1) evaluate our experience with these cases and (2) investigate the effects of long-term intraesophageal polytetrafluorethylene stenting on esophageal remodeling and its impact upon the need for esophageal replacement. Between 1997 and 2006, 68 patients (44 males and 22 females) with accidental caustic agent ingestion were admitted to our department, the only tertiary care referral center for the Turkish Army. Once stabilized, esophagoscopy was performed for injury grading (grades 0, 1, 2a, 3b, 3a, or 3b) as described by Millar and Cywes (Pediatric Surgery. 1998;969-979). Esophagogram was performed 3 weeks after injury to assess healing. At presentation, the injury grade for 24, 31, 11, and 1 cases were 0 or 1, 2a, 2b, and 3a, respectively. One case had gastric outlet obstruction. All cases of grade 0 or 1 injuries had a normal esophagogram at 3 weeks postinjury. For the remaining 44 patients, several treatment modalities have been applied, including antegrade and retrograde dilatations in 31 grade 2a patients, intraluminal stenting in 11 grade 2b patients, esophageal reconstruction in 1 grade 3a patient, and gastroenterostomy in 1. Of the 11 patients with esophageal stenting, 8 patients have resumed a normal diet after 9 to 14 months of stenting. Mean follow up duration is 3.5 years (1-6 years) after stent removal. In the remaining 3 cases, treatment is still ongoing. Esophagitis and esophageal structuring because of caustic agent ingestion is a major public health problem in Turkey. Our small uncontrolled pilot series suggests that intraluminal polytetrafluorethylene stenting may be an effective treatment method to reduce the need for major surgical reconstruction of recalcitrant esophageal strictures.

MeSH terms

  • Burns, Chemical / pathology
  • Burns, Chemical / therapy*
  • Caustics / toxicity*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dilatation
  • Esophageal Stenosis / chemically induced*
  • Esophageal Stenosis / pathology
  • Esophageal Stenosis / therapy*
  • Esophagitis / chemically induced
  • Esophagitis / therapy
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Female
  • Gastrostomy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene*
  • Stents*


  • Caustics
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene