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June 1970

Benign Esophagobronchial Fistula: A Curable Cause of Adult Pulmonary Suppuration

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Surgery, Harbor General Hospital, Torrance, Calif, and the University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(6):685-688. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340240053011

Benign esophagobronchial fistula is a curable cause of adult chronic pulmonary suppuration which can easily be overlooked. Accumulating case reports in the literature suggest that it occurs more frequently than once thought.1,2 Within the past year two young adults have had successful operations for benign esophagobronchial fistula at Harbor General Hospital. This report reviews the features of these two cases stressing the need for awareness of this entity, the importance of appropriate diagnostic studies, and the desirability of prompt, curative operation.

Report of Cases  Case 1.—A 22-year-old Negro woman was admitted to Harbor General Hospital for the first time on March 12, 1969, complaining of three days of right pleuritic chest pain and large amounts of foul-smelling sputum with bright red hemoptysis. Right-sided pneumonia with cavitation had first occurred five years previously. Thereafter, cough persisted and became increasingly productive of sputum with intermittent hemoptysis. Multiple admissions to another hospital

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