Effect of transanastomotic feeding tubes on anastomotic strictures in patients with esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula: The Quebec experience

J Pediatr Surg. 2021 Sep 20;S0022-3468(21)00625-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2021.09.014. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: Recent studies have identified transanastomotic tubes (TATs) as a risk factor for the development of anastomotic strictures after repair of esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula (EATEF). We further investigated these findings in a multicenter study.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study at three university-affiliated hospitals in the province of Quebec. All patients with types C and D EATEF who underwent primary repair between January 1993 and August 2018 were included. Anastomotic stricture was defined as clinical symptoms of stricture with confirmation on esophagram or endoscopy. Multivariate logistic regression and the Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test were used to evaluate the primary outcome of stricture within one year of surgery and secondary outcome of duration of postoperative total parenteral nutrition (TPN).

Results: 244 patients were included, of which 234 (96%) were type C and 10 (4%) were type D. The anastomotic stricture rate at 1 year was 30%. TATs were utilized in 61% of patients. Thirty-six percent of patients with TATs developed a stricture within one year, as compared to 19% of patients without TATs (p = 0.005). TATs were associated with stricture on univariate analysis (OR 2.49, p = 0.004, 95% CI: 1.37-4.69). On multivariate analysis, after adjusting for gestational age, birth weight, leak, long gap, anastomotic tension, and daily acid suppression, patients with TATs had 2.72 times higher odds of developing a stricture as compared to patients without TATs (p = 0.006, 95% CI: 1.35-5.74). The median duration of TPN was 9 days in both groups (p = 0.139, IQR 6-14 in patients with TATs versus IQR 7-16 in patients without).

Conclusion: Transanastomotic tubes are associated with a significantly higher risk of postoperative stricture following repair of esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula and do not shorten the duration of total parenteral nutrition.

Level of evidence: III.

Keywords: Esophageal atresia; Fistula; Stricture; Transanastomotic tubes.