Am J Perinatol 1993; 10(2): 164-167
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-994652

© 1993 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Acquired Tracheoesophageal Fistula in a Premature Infant

D. Jim Rawlings, Stewart Lawrence, Jeffrey D. Goldstein
  • Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology, University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, Florida
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Publication History

Publication Date:
04 March 2008 (online)


A fatality from an acquired tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) in a very low birthweight premature infant is presented. Neonatal tracheal and esophageal injuries related to endotracheal (ET) intubation are discussed. The infant had important risk factors for the development of subglottic stenosis: birthweight less than 1000 gm, prolonged positive pressure ventilation, and repeated ET intubation. The pathologie examination was consistent with acquired fistula formation resulting from a combination of preexisting subglottic stenosis and prolonged and repeated ET intubation. The recognition of clinical signs of an acquired TEF, as observed in our patient, followed by expeditious diagnostic testing may be lifesaving.