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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Tracheoesophageal fistula


Other Names for this Disease
  • TE fistula
  • TEF
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula with or without esophageal atresia
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) is a life-threatening condition in which there is an abnormal connection between the esophagus and trachea (windpipe). The esophagus and trachea run next to each other through the chest cavity. The esophagus carries food and saliva to the stomach, while the trachea carries air to the lungs. TEF can lead to severe and fatal lung complications. Saliva and gastric secretions can be aspirated into the lungs, and normal swallowing and digestion of food cannot occur.[1] Most affected people are diagnosed immediately after birth or during infancy. Symptoms may include frothy bubbles of mucus in the mouth and nose; episodes of coughing and choking; and worsening symptoms during feeding. TEF may be isolated, or it may occur with other physical or developmental abnormalities (most commonly, esophageal atresia). In many cases the cause is unknown but it has been associated with some chromosome disorders. In some cases it may be acquired later in life after a cancer, infection, ruptured diverticula, or trauma. Treatment includes immediate surgical repair with survival rates of almost 100%.[2]
Last updated: 7/8/2015

References

  1. Tracheoesophageal fistula repair - series. MedlinePlus. January 31, 2014; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/presentations/100103_1.htm.
  2. Sat Sharm. Tracheoesophageal Fistula. Medscape. October 29, 2014; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/186735-overview.
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Basic Information

  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Tracheoesophageal fistula. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Tracheoesophageal fistula. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • TE fistula
  • TEF
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula with or without esophageal atresia
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.