Intermittent gaseous bowel distention: Atypical sign of congenital tracheoesophageal fistula

Chiara Gardella, Paolo Tomà, Oliviero Sacco, Donata Girosi, Serena Panigada, Elena Battistini, Girolamo Mattioli, Vincenzo Jasonni, Giovanni A. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three girls, 5-, 9-, and 15-year-old, were evaluated for recurrent airway infections and pneumonia. Chest X-rays, which included the upper portion of the abdomen, showed marked gaseous bowels distention, while computed tomography scans of the chest demonstrated the presence of tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), confirmed by fiberoptic bronchoscopy Abdominal gaseous distension, a known possible clinical manifestation of TEF in the neonatal period generated by airflow through the fistula into the oesophagus, has not been reported as a clue to the diagnosis in older children. When detected in patients with recurrent respiratory infection, should raise the suspicion of unrecognized TEF

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-248
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Bronchoscopy
  • Gastric distention
  • Imaging
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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