The management of postoperative reflux in congenital esophageal atresia–tracheoesophageal fistula: a systematic review
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PURPOSE: Esophageal atresia (EA), with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), is associated with postoperative gastroesophageal reflux (GER). We performed a systematic review of the literature regarding routine anti-reflux medication post EA-TEF repair and its impact on postoperative GER and associated complications. METHODS: A comprehensive search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINHAL, CENTRAL (Cochrane library) electronic databases and gray literature. Full-text screening was performed in duplicate. Included articles reported a primary diagnosis of EA-TEF, a secondary diagnosis of postoperative GER, and primary treatment of GER with anti-reflux medications. RESULTS: Screening of 2,910 articles resulted in 25 articles (1,663 patients) for analysis. Most were single-center studies (92%) and retrospective (76%); there were no randomized control trials. Fifteen studies named the class of anti-reflux agent used, 3 the duration of therapy, and none either the dose prescribed or number of doses. Complications were inconsistently reported. Anti-reflux surgery was performed in 433/1,663 (26.0%) patients. Average follow-up was 53.2 months (14 studies). CONCLUSION: The quality of literature regarding anti-reflux medication for GER post EA-TEF repair is poor. There are no well-outlined algorithms for anti-reflux agents, doses, or duration of therapy. Standardized protocols and reliable reporting are necessary to develop guidelines to better manage postoperative GER in EA-TEF patients.
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