Two hundred eighty-five children with possible caustic burns of the esophagus have been managed at two university hospitals using similar protocols. Of these, 235 (82%) had immediate esophagoscopy and 69 (29%) had demonstrated esophageal burns. They were treated with steroids and antibiotics. Eight (12%) with proven burns developed strictures that responded to prolonged dilatations and none have required esophageal replacement. The remainder are free of swallowing symptoms. By contrast, eight patients from other hospitals who were not treated by this protocol were referred for esophageal replacement6 and prolonged dilatation.2 Our strong impression is that immediate steroid-antibiotic therapy greatly decreases the incidence of esophageal stricture but does not completely eliminate it. Those children who develop strictures on this treatment regimen seem to have milder esophageal scarring, which usually responds to dilatation rather than requiring esophageal replacement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health