Neurodevelopmental outcomes of tracheoesophageal fistulas

J Pediatr Surg. 2016 May;51(5):743-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2016.02.015. Epub 2016 Feb 11.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to perform a retrospective review of tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) patients who followed up in a state-sponsored program to assess neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Methods: Records were reviewed retrospectively of children who underwent TEF repair between August 2001 and June 2014. Children discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit were referred to the state-sponsored Developmental Tracking Infant Progress Statewide (TIPS) program. We reviewed TIPS assessments performed before age 24months and noted referral for early school intervention services. Poor outcomes were defined as scores of "failure" on the screening assessment or referral for enrollment in early intervention services by 24months. Children with TEF were compared with case-matched nonsyndromic children of similar gestational age and birth weight.

Results: Seventy-eight children underwent TEF repair. Thirty-eight followed up with TIPS. Survival was 93.6%. Predictors of hospital survival were Waterston classification (p=0.001), birth weight (p=0.027), and ventilator days (p=0.013). LOS was the only significant predictor of referral for early intervention services (p=0.0092) in multivariate analysis. There was a borderline significant difference in referral rate between children with TEF and controls. 52.6% of TEF patients were referred, while 34.2% of controls were referred (p=0.071).

Conclusion: More than half of TEF patients experience neurodevelopmental delays requiring referral for early intervention (53%).

Keywords: Neurodevelopment; Outcomes; Tracheoesophageal fistula.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / therapy
  • Early Intervention, Educational
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / complications*
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / surgery