Testing & Diagnosis for Tracheoesophageal Fistula

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Contact the Esophageal Airway Treatment Center

  • 1-617-355-3038

How is Tracheoesophageal Fistula Diagnosed?

Tracheoesophageal fistula, among other disorders of the trachea, is rarely diagnosed before birth. Once your baby is born and symptoms have been observed, your doctor may recommend:

  • Imaging studies, such as X-rays (esophagram), to look at your child’s esophagus and sometimes demonstrates a connection to the airway.
  • Endoscopy and/or bronchoscopy: Techniques for looking at the inside of your child’s airways using a thin tube fitted with a small light and camera. This is a more reliable technique to identify a TEF. This may be combined with X-rays to confirm the presence of a TEF.
Symptoms of coughing with eating or drinking, or recurrent episodes of respiratory infection may suggest recurrent TEF. TEF may come and go, making it difficult to diagnose. The procedures listed above will typically be the first step in getting a correct diagnosis.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment or speak with a member of our team, please call 617-355-3038.

International Patients

For families residing outside of the United States, please call Boston Children's International Health Services at +01-617-355-5209.


We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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