Rupture of the esophagus in the newborn with resulting esophagopleural fistula is an uncommon condition which will cause death if not treated promptly. This is an emergency situation due to progressive tension pneumothorax. A review of the literature reveals only two such cases. In one of these reported by Weisman et al1 in 1959, the esophagus opened into the right side of the chest in the midthoracic region. Treatment by thoracotomy and suture of the defect was successful. In another case reported by Chunn and Geppert2 in 1962, the patient had an esophageal opening into the left side of the chest in close proximity to the diaphragm. Successful repair was done by thoracotomy and suture.
The purpose of this report is to present an additional case of spontaneous rupture of the esophagus in the newborn with emphasis on diagnosis and a method of closure.
Report of a Case
Tolstedt GE, Tudor RB. Esophagopleural Fistula in a Newborn Infant. Arch Surg. 1968;97(5):780-781. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01340050120017