Acquired benign bronchoesophageal fistulas in the adult

Ann Thorac Surg. 1979 Oct;28(4):378-83. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(10)63138-4.


In a twenty-year period we have seen 7 patients with acquired nonmalignant bronchoesophageal fistulas at the Vanderbilt University Affiliated Hospitals. There were 5 men and 2 women ranging from 24 to 82 years old. Six patients were seen initially with a history of pulmonary inflammatory disease with cough and fever or with an abnormal chest roentgenogram. One patient had a traumatic fistula following blunt chest trauma. Six of the patients were treated surgically with no operative mortality. Five were repaired through a right-sided thoracotomy with division of the fistulous tract and closure of the bronchus and esophagus. One patient required esophageal resection and later reconstruction for permanent fistula closure. The remaining patient was diagnosed at bronchoscopy and was not treated surgically because of supervening complications following an extensive abdominal operation. Once the diagnosis was established, operative management resulted in complete closure of the fistulas, with no mortality and no late recurrences in these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bronchial Fistula / diagnosis
  • Bronchial Fistula / etiology
  • Bronchial Fistula / surgery*
  • Cough
  • Esophageal Fistula / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Fistula / etiology
  • Esophageal Fistula / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications
  • Thoracic Injuries / complications