Acquired tracheoesophageal fistula and its management

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1996 Oct;8(4):392-9.


Tracheoesophageal fistulae (TEF) are severe lesions leading to serious and eventually fatal pulmonary complications. Currently, TEF are mainly iatrogenic, occurring in the course of tracheal intubation for resuscitation or malignant after invasion of both esophageal and tracheal walls. Difficulty in treatment results from the need to manage both the consequences of esophagotracheal communication and those of the illness responsible for fistula. Various carefully selected means may be used to achieve this aim: division and closure of the TEF, esophageal exclusion followed by gastric or colic bypass or push-through intubation. Abstention from treatment may be appropriate in hopeless situations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / etiology*
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / physiopathology
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / surgery*
  • Tuberculosis / complications