Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula

What is esophageal atresia and tracheoesophogeal fistula?

Esophageal atresia and tracheoesophogeal fistula (EA/TEF) occurs when the esophagus and trachea fail to normally separate into two separate structures early in pregnancy. EA/TEF occurs in approximately one in 4,000 live births.

How is this condition managed during pregnancy?

Although this finding can be difficult to detect prior to birth, diagnosis is usually made by ultrasound detection of increased amniotic fluid volume (polyhydramnios) and the absence of a visible stomach. As other anomalies and genetic abnormalities may be associated with this finding, genetic counseling and testing is recommended. Prenatal care will be managed by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, an obstetrician with special training and expertise in high risk pregnancies. Additionally, neonatology and pediatric surgery consultations are recommended to discuss prognosis and management after birth.

How is this condition managed after delivery?

Postnatal neonatology assessment and imaging are necessary to confirm the diagnosis and stabilize the newborn. EA/TEF requires surgical correction.