Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of Tracheoesophageal Fistula and Esophageal AtresiaDuring a normal pregnancy, the trachea and the esophagus start forming as a single tube. Between the fourth and eighth weeks of pregnancy, a wall forms and separates them into two distinct tubes, one leading to the lungs and the other leading to the stomach.
The exact reason why is not known, but in babies with tracheoesophageal fistula and esophageal atresia, the wall separating the two tubes does not form correctly.
Experts do know that tracheoesophageal fistula and esophageal atresia are related to other birth defects. Your baby is more likely to have esophageal defects if he or she also has:
- Trisomy 13, 18 or 21
- Other gastrointestinal issues, including diaphragmatic hernia, duodenal atresia or imperforate anus
- Heart defects, including ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of fallot, or patent ductus arteriosus
- Urinary tract problems, including a horseshoe or polycystic kidney, absent kidney or hypospadias
- Musculoskeletal defects
- VACTERL syndrome, which can involve issues with the spine, anus, heart, esophagus, kidney and limbs