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Article
February 18, 1956

BRONCHOLITHIASIS, A NEGLECTED CAUSE OF BRONCHOESOPHAGEAL FISTULA

JAMA. 1956;160(7):555-557. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960420035010
Abstract

Acquired fistulous communications between the esophagus and tracheobronchial tree are generally thought of as rare and incurable, an impression not altogether inappropriate considering that most such fistulas result from carcinoma and are indeed hopeless lesions. A small but salvagable proportion, however, are of nonmalignant origin, and care must be taken that this group not be mistakenly consigned to the hopeless category, when it is in reality amenable to surgical correction. Too often, unfortunately, the surgical implications of such a fistula, though obvious enough to thoracic surgeons, are not commonly appreciated by others, who are apt to be dissuaded by reports of but 25 cases successfully treated by a transthoracic division and suture technique. That this astonishingly small figure provides no true index of the relative merits of surgery is suitably illustrated by the following case, which exemplifies as an incidental, but to us extremely pertinent, feature, how important may be

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