Two patients receiving positive pressure ventilation experienced marked gaseous abdominal distension. Analysis of gases from the stomach, ventilator, and room air suggested that the gastric gases came from the ventilator in one patient. The diagnosis of tracheoesophageal fistula was confirmed by esophagoscopy. Analysis of gases in the other patient did not support the suspicion of tracheoesophageal fistula, and no fistula was found at autopsy. The technique of gastric air analysis is presented as a simple supporting tool for the clinical diagnosis of tracheoesophageal fistula in patients receiving positive pressure ventilation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine