Caustic and corrosive substance ingestions are a significant cause of early and late morbidity and may cause esophageal carcinoma after a long latent period. Initial management should be directed at the assurance of adequate ventilation and cardiovascular stability as well as the prevention of vomiting. Early esophagoscopy (to the level of first lesion, if present) is useful to identify those patients who do not need hospitalization or treatment. Esophagoscopy and contrast esophagram are useful to define the full extent of esophageal injury, but should be withheld until after the acute phase. Glucocorticoids are probably useful in limiting the extent and severity of esophageal stricture, the most frequent and significant long-term sequela. Colon interposition is used in those situations in which dilation of a stricture has been unsuccessful, and may prevent the subsequent development of esophageal carcinoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health