Author(s): Chen TY, Ko SF, Chuang JH, Kuo HW, Tiao MM
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Prediction of the severity of esophageal injury following ingestion of a caustic substance is a challenging problem for clinicians. It was hoped that risk factors for the early prediction of esophageal stricture in such patients could be identified in this study. METHODS: This study comprises an evaluation of 32 children with esophageal injury due to ingestion of caustic materials. Patients' signs and symptoms as well as laboratory data including leukocyte counts and C-reactive protein level were reviewed. RESULTS: Patients who presented with a greater number of symptoms and signs were inclined to have more severe esophageal injury and stricture. The frequency of symptoms and signs in patients with serious esophageal injury was higher than that in patients with low-grade injury. Patients with severe injury were more significantly associated with the occurrence of stricture. The characteristic of caustic ingestion was associated with esophageal stricture, but not esophageal injury. There was no statistically significant difference in leukocyte counts relative to severity of esophageal injury. The mean of leukocyte counts of patients with esophageal stricture was close to that of patients without esophageal stricture. There was also no statistically significant difference in C-reactive protein values between the 2 groups of patients. CONCLUSIONS: Leukocyte counts and C-reactive protein are not useful parameters for predicting the severity of esophageal injury and occurrence of stricture following injury to the esophagus by caustic materials. Alkali ingestion more probably leads to esophageal stricture than acid ingestion. After caustic ingestion, the presence of a greater number of symptoms and signs suggests a more-severe injury, which necessitates more-aggressive management.
This article was published in Chang Gung Med J
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System