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The occurrence of a chronic nonmalignant fistula between the esophagus and the tracheobronchial tree is a rarity, according to recorded medical literature. In infants, it is usually reported as a congenital anomaly associated with esophageal atresia, with a frequency of from one in 50,000 newborns to two in 15,000 new-borns. Haight, in a 12 year study, saw 63 cases of tracheoesophageal fistula with esophageal atresia and 2 cases of tracheoesophageal fistula without atresia; however, he doubted the validity of comparing these two Fig. figures, since the diagnosis of fistula without atresia was usually confused with "regurgitation due to faulty neuro-muscular development" or with "recurring pneumonias." In adults, the incidence is not well established either. The diagnosis is usually made only during the course of a detailed physical examination; it may therefore be overlooked easily. Morton and associates stated that by 1941 Monserrat had collected 670 cases from the existing literature,
Levine I. CHRONIC PNEIJMONITIS SECONDARY TO A NONMALIGNANT BRONCHOESOPHAGEAL FISTULAREPORT OF A CASE. JAMA. 1953;151(12):995–997. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940120029005d