Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 967–970 | Cite as

Surgical correction of tracheo-oesophageal fistula and oesophageal atresia in infants with VACTERL association: a retrospective case–control study

  • Robert D. MorganEmail author
  • John M. O’Callaghan
  • Silke Wagener
  • Hugh W. Grant
  • Kokila Lakhoo
Original Article



VACTERL is a rare, non-random association comprising at least three major component features defined by the acronym, and including Vertebral anomalies, Anorectal malformations, Cardiac defects, Tracheo-oEsophageal fistula with or without oesophageal atresia (TOF/OA), Renal abnormalities and Limb anomalies. The aim of this study was to compare the post-operative outcomes following surgical correction of TOF/OA in infants with VACTERL and isolated TOF/OA.


A retrospective case–control study comparing infants with VACTERL (case group) versus infants with isolated TOF/OA (control group) that underwent surgical correction of TOF/OA at our centre between January 2006 and December 2011. Patient demographics, types of anomalies, operative techniques and post-operative outcomes were collected using inpatient and outpatient records.


We identified 30 consecutive infants with TOF/OA. Five infants had VACTERL (17 %) and 15 infants had isolated TOF/OA (50 %). There was no significant difference in the gestational age (P = 0.79), birth weight (P = 0.69) or operative repair (P = 0.14) between groups. Overall, surgical correction of TOF/OA led to satisfactory morbidity. Infants with VACTERL were not at higher risk of post-operative complications, such as oesophageal stricture (P = 0.17) or gastro-oesophageal reflux (P = 1.0), compared to infants with isolated TOF/OA.


VACTERL association does not increase the risk of post-operative complications following TOF/OA repair.


VACTERL association Tracheo-oesophageal fistula Oesophageal atresia 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Morgan
    • 1
    Email author
  • John M. O’Callaghan
    • 2
  • Silke Wagener
    • 1
  • Hugh W. Grant
    • 1
  • Kokila Lakhoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Paediatric Surgery, John Radcliffe HospitalOxford University Hospitals NHS TrustOxfordUK
  2. 2.Nuffield Department of Surgical SciencesJohn Radcliffe HospitalOxfordUK

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