Cicatricial atresia of the esophagus is rare. The most common single etiologic factor is ingestion of caustics, such as lye, washing soda, salts of tartar, household ammonia, mercury bichloride and phenol, either by accident or with suicidal intent. The other causes are systemic diseases involving the esophagus. Among them are scarlet fever, diphtheria, typhoid fever, pyogenic conditions, tuberculosis and syphilis. In a number of cases reported, one of the outstanding features was failure on the part of the patients to continue with the program of systematic dilation after the initial treatment. Instead, they waited complacently until the esophagus became completely impermeable.
The atresia may occur at any level, but most frequently it develops in the thoracic part of the esophagus where it is crossed by the left bronchus. The sites next in order, according to Jackson,1 are the region of the cricopharyngeus muscle and the hiatal level The segment involved
H. J. HARA, L. K. ROSENVOLD. CICATRICIAL ATRESIA OF THE ESOPHAGUS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1941;34(3):574–582. doi:10.1001/archotol.1941.00660040614011