Tracheoesophageal Fistula

Below you will find more information about Tracheoesophageal Fistula from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Tracheoesophageal Fistula it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Tracheoesophageal Fistula and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Tracheoesophageal Fistula comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


Also known as TEF, tracheoesophageal fistuka is an abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea, and is a common congenital abnormality.


When the esophagus is interrupted, confirmed by the inability to insert a nasograstric suction tube into the stomach can lead to the diagnosis of TEF. A radiopaque catheter can locate the exact type and location of the fistula. Airs in the bowel may also be shown using X-ray.


Following confirmation of a TEF diagnosis, surgical repair is required. Among healthy infants without pulmonary complications, primary repair is performed within the first few days of life. Malignant TEFs meanwhile require individualized treatments and should be instituted promptly.

Symptoms and Signs

About 17-70% of children with TEF have associated developmental anomalies. Some of these anomalies include down syndrome, duodenal atresia, and cardiovascular defects. Cardiac anomalies may include ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, tetralogy of Fallot, atrial septal defect, and right-sided aortic arch. Malignant TEFs may induce cough, aspiration, and fever. From onset to diagnosis, said symptoms usually last 12 days.


There is no known definite cause existing for congenital TEFs except that it's associated with trisomies 18, 21, and 13. Acquired TEF symptoms include iatrogenic injury, blunt chest, or neck trauma, prlonged mechanical ventilation via endotracheal or tracheostomy tube, and excessive tube cuff pressure in patients ventilated for lung disease.

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