Early developmental outcome following surgery for oesophageal atresia

J Paediatr Child Health. 2013 Jun;49(6):467-70. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12206. Epub 2013 Apr 19.


Aim: To compare the developmental outcome of infants with oesophageal atresia with or without trachea-oesophageal fistula (OA/TOF) who underwent surgery in early infancy with healthy control infants in New South Wales, Australia.

Methods: Infants diagnosed with OA/TOF requiring surgical intervention were enrolled prospectively between 1 August 2006 and the 31 December 2008. Healthy control infants were enrolled in the same time period. The children underwent a developmental assessment at 1 year of age (corrected) using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (Version III).

Results: Of 34 infants with OA/TOF that were enrolled, 31 had developmental assessments. The majority (75%) were term infants (≥37 weeks gestation) with a mean birth weight of 2717 g. Fourteen infants (44%) had an associated birth defect and one infant with multiple associated anomalies subsequently died. Developmental assessments were also performed on 62 control infants matched for gestational age. Infants with OA/TOF had a mean score significantly lower on the expressive language subscale (P < 0.05) compared with the control infants.

Conclusions: This study found a lower than expected developmental score for infants following surgery for OA/TOF in the expressive language subscale compared with the healthy control infants. These findings support concerns over the potential impact of OA/TOF and its effects on development. Further studies, including continuing developmental review to determine whether these differences persist and their functional importance, should be performed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child Development*
  • Child Language
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Esophageal Atresia / complications
  • Esophageal Atresia / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / complications
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome