The case of a 46-year-old man with congenital broncho-oesophageal fistula is presented. The patient had had recurrent chest infections since childhood and a recent history of heartburn and flatulence. A barium-swallow examination showed a small sliding hiatal hernia and an oesophageal diverticulum communicating via a fistula with the apical and posterior segmental bronchi of the left lower lobe. Bronchography showed bronchiectasis in this lobe. At thoracotomy resection of the broncho-oesophageal fistula and left lower lobectomy were performed. The patient's recovery was uneventful. Twenty published cases are reviewed. The classification of congenital broncho-oesophageal fistulae should take account not only of the type of fistula but also of the type and size of the bronchus with which the fistula communicates, the age of the patient at the first appearance of symptoms, and the duration of symptoms.
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