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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101136

Respiratory Morbidity in Children with Repaired Congenital Esophageal Atresia with or without Tracheoesophageal Fistula

1
Paediatric Highly Intensive Care Unit, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
2
Unit of Paediatric Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
3
Paediatric Clinic, Department of Surgical and Biomedical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract

Congenital esophageal atresia with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (CEA ± TEF) is a relatively common malformation that occurs in 1 of 2500–4500 live births. Despite the refinement of surgical techniques, a considerable proportion of children experience short- and long-term respiratory complications, which can significantly affect their health through adulthood. This review focuses on the underlying mechanisms and clinical presentation of respiratory morbidity in children with repaired CEA ± TEF. The reasons for the short-term pulmonary impairments are multifactorial and related to the surgical complications, such as anastomotic leaks, stenosis, and recurrence of fistula. Long-term respiratory morbidity is grouped into four categories according to the body section or function mainly involved: upper respiratory tract, lower respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and aspiration and dysphagia. The reasons for the persistence of respiratory morbidity to adulthood are not univocal. The malformation itself, the acquired damage after the surgical repair, various co-morbidities, and the recurrence of lower respiratory tract infections at an early age can contribute to pulmonary impairment. Nevertheless, other conditions, including smoking habits and, in particular, atopy can play a role in the recurrence of infections. In conclusion, our manuscript shows that most children born with CEA ± TEF survive into adulthood, but many comorbidities, mainly esophageal and respiratory issues, may persist. The pulmonary impairment involves many underlying mechanisms, which begin in the first years of life. Therefore, early detection and management of pulmonary morbidity may be important to prevent impairment in pulmonary function and serious long-term complications. To obtain a successful outcome, it is fundamental to ensure a standardized follow-up that must continue until adulthood. View Full-Text
Keywords: congenital esophageal atresia; pediatric pulmonology; respiratory morbidity; tracheoesophageal fistula congenital esophageal atresia; pediatric pulmonology; respiratory morbidity; tracheoesophageal fistula
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Patria, M.F.; Ghislanzoni, S.; Macchini, F.; Lelii, M.; Mori, A.; Leva, E.; Principi, N.; Esposito, S. Respiratory Morbidity in Children with Repaired Congenital Esophageal Atresia with or without Tracheoesophageal Fistula. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1136.

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