Author(s): Panieri E, Rode H, Millar AJ, Cywes S
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Abstract The accidental ingestion of corrosive agents is a major cause of oesophageal strictures in children. The mainstay of treatment is repeated dilatations. Despite this, a significant number of patients eventually require oesophageal bypass. We reviewed the records of all cases managed with this condition at the University of Cape Town teaching hospitals between 1976 and 1994. Dilatation therapy alone was successful in 14 out of 39 patients (41\%). Morbidity of failed dilatation therapy included repeated hospital admissions over an average 11.5 months and 17 dilatations each. Oesophageal perforations occurred in 7 cases (18\%). Early factors predictive of failure of conservative treatment were: delay in presentation of more than 1 month; severe pharyngo-oesophageal burns requiring a tracheostomy; oesophageal perforation; and a stricture longer than 5 cm on radiological assessment. The size of dilators accepted during early bougienage also correlated with eventual outcome. These criteria may be useful in predicting which patients will not respond to repeated dilatations. Early surgical intervention in such cases will prevent fruitless dilatations and related complications.
This article was published in Pediatr Surg Int
and referenced in Health Care : Current Reviews