Title

Neonatal esophageal perforation: nonoperative management

Publication Date

2015

Journal Title

J Surg Res

Abstract

Background: Esophageal perforation is a rare complication of enteric instrumentation in neonates. Enteric tube placement in micro-preemies poses a particular hazard to the narrow lumen and thin wall of the developing esophagus. The complication may be difficult to recognize or misdiagnosed as esophageal atresia, and is associated with considerable mortality. Historically, management of this life-threatening iatrogenic disease was operative, but trends have shifted toward nonoperative treatment. Here, we review neonatal esophageal perforation at our own institution for management techniques, risk factors, and outcomes. Materials and methods: Seven neonatal patients with esophageal perforation were identified and charts reviewed for demographics, comorbidities, etiology of perforation, diagnostic modalities, management decisions, complications, and outcomes. Results: Mean gestational age was 27.2 +/- 4.0 wk, and weight at diagnosis was 892 +/- 674 g. All seven patients had esophageal perforation resulting from endotracheal or enter-ogastric intubation and were managed nonoperatively. Treatment included removal of the offending tube, nil per os, and antibiotics. Five patients required additional interventions: four tube thoracostomies for pneumothoraces and one peritoneal drain for pneumoperitoneum. Three patients died because of sequelae of prematurity (intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis, and sepsis). One patient was diagnosed as having esophageal atresia; esophagoscopy before surgical repair established the correct diagnosis. Conclusions: Neonates, particularly those under 1500 g, are at substantial risk for iatrogenic esophageal perforation during enterogastric intubation. Nonoperative management may be a safe initial strategy in the neonatal setting, but more aggressive interventions may ultimately be required. Despite recent improvement in early recognition of this injury, misdiagnosis still occurs. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Volume Number

198

Issue Number

1

Pages

1-6

Document Type

Article

EPub Date

2015/06/10

Status

Faculty; Northwell Researcher

Facility

School of Medicine; Northwell Health

Primary Department

Surgery

Additional Departments

Pediatrics

PMID

26055213

DOI

10.1016/j.jss.2015.05.018