Ear Nose Throat J 2019 Apr 17:145561319843109. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
3 Clinic of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Phoniatrics and Audiology, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland.
Objectives: Children experience serious gastrointestinal tract injuries due to consumption of caustic agents more often than adults. The aim of the study was to analyze diagnostic methods and treatment of children with esophageal burns according to the degree of the injury.
Methods: Our one-center population-based retrospective cohort study included 150 children admitted between 1967 and 2018 to Clinic of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Phoniatrics and Audiology of University Children's Hospital in Lublin, Poland, due to the chemical burn of the mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus. Each patient underwent a thorough laryngological examination and endoscopy to assess the place and degree of injury.
Results: Of 150 patients, 65.3% were male and 34.7% female. The median age was 4 years and 3 months. Salivation, dysphagia, burning sensation, edema, and whitish coating on the oral mucosa, palate, and throat were the most common clinical symptoms. In addition, dyspnea and chest pain were observed in 30% of patients. Esophagus endoscopy results were: Zargar grade I burn (84.7%), grade IIA (8%), grade IIB (2.6%), grade III (0%), and grade 0 (4.7%). Treatment included antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, analgesics, and intravenous fluid therapy. Late sequelae (scarred esophageal strictures) developed in 20 (13.3%) patients.
Conclusions: Accidental intake of caustic agents is observed in young children, especially younger than the age of 5. Early esophagus endoscopy should be performed in all patients to assess the grade of injury, plan initial treatment, and predict the risk of developing complications. Early diagnosis and immediate pharmacological treatment reduce the number of late sequelae.