Endoscopic balloon dilatation of esophageal strictures in infants and children: 17 years' experience and a literature review.
Lan LCL., Wong KKY., Lin SCL., Sprigg A., Clarke S., Johnson PRV., Tam PKH.
PURPOSE: Whereas endoscopic balloon dilatation (EBD) of benign esophageal strictures is an established mode of therapy in adults, this has not been accepted universally in the pediatric population. The aim of this study is to report the safety, efficacy, and long-term results of EBD for children in the authors' center. METHODS: Between 1986 and 2002, a total of 77 children (median age, 1.8 years; range, 2 months to 20 years) were treated by EBD for various causes: 2 had achalasia, and 75 had esophageal strictures (postesophageal atresia repair, 63; reflux esophagitis, 7; postfundoplication, 2; caustic injury, 3). Dilatations were performed using flexible endoscopy and fluoroscopic screening under general anesthesia. RESULTS: A total of 260 dilatations were carried out with the mean number of EBD per patient being 3.4 (range, 1 to 19). A mean period of 5 months (maximum, 28 months) for each patient was required. Four complications of esophageal perforations (1.5%) were observed, but only one required surgical repair because of persistent leakage. The remaining patients have undergone long-term follow-up (median follow-up, 6.6 years), and all are asymptomatic. CONCLUSIONS: This large series has shown that EBD can provide a safe and effective mean of relieving esophageal strictures with good long-term results.