Malnutrition and Feeding Problems in Children with Esophageal Atresia

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Pediatric Ward, Namazee Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Pediatric Ward, Namazee Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Pediatric Ward, Amir-Al-Momenin Hospital, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran

5 Department of Hematology, Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran

6 Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran


Introduction: Esophageal atresia (EA) with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) is defined as a congenital malformation characterized with the interruption or obstruction of esophagus. Affected neonates may present with cyanosis during breast feeding, sialorrhea, coughing and difficulty in respiration. The defect should be corrected by surgery; otherwise, the condition can be life-threatening. Little is known about the long-term nutritional problems of children with EA. Our aim was to assess growth status and nutritional difficulties in children with EA. Methods: This was a retrospective study on 32 children with EA between 2007 and 2016. Nutritional status and feeding problems were assessed by a questionnaire. Results: The most common EA-associated complications were esophageal stricture (84.4%), dysphagia (46.9%), gastroesophageal reflux disease (37.5%), and respiratory infections (25%). Majority of our patients showed normal growth parameters, and 96.9% of them had experienced at least one complication or feeding problem including needing to drink water to swallow food (25%), coughing during feeding (34.4%), vomiting (12.5%), and abdominal pain (34.4%). There were no significant associations between feeding problems and growth parameters. Conclusions: Feeding problems are relatively common in children with EA. There is a need to provide nutritional consults to these patients to prevent or mitigate these problems.


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Volume 8, Issue 1
March 2020
Pages 34-39
  • Receive Date: 13 April 2019
  • Revise Date: 17 July 2019
  • Accept Date: 21 July 2019
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2020