Management of tracheo-oesophageal fistula in adults
Kim HS, Khemasuwan D, Diaz-Mendoza J, and Mehta AC. Management of tracheo-oesophageal fistula in adults. Eur Respir Rev 2020; 29(158).
Eur Respir Rev
Tracheo-oesophageal fistula (TOF) is a pathological connection between the trachea and the oesophagus that is associated with various underlying conditions including malignancies, infections, inhalation injuries and traumatic damage. As the condition spans multiple organ systems with varying aetiologies and acuities, TOF poses unique diagnostic and management challenges to pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and thoracic surgeons alike. Although stents have been a cornerstone in the management of TOF, there exists a large gap in our understanding of their efficacy and precise methodology, making stenting procedure both art and science. TOFs relating to underlying oesophageal or tracheal malignancies require advanced understanding of the airway and digestive tract anatomy, dimensions of the fistula, stent characteristics and types, and the interplay between the oesophageal stent and the airway stent if dual stenting procedure is elected. In this review article, we review the most up-to-date data on risk factors, clinical manifestations, diagnostic approaches, management methods and prognosis. Consequently, this article serves to evaluate current therapeutic strategies and the future directions in the areas of 3D-printed stents, over-the-scope clipping systems, tissue matrices and atrial septal closure devices.