Testing & Diagnosis for Congenital Anomalies of the Esophagus and Trachea in Children

How are congenital anomalies of the esophagus and trachea diagnosed?

If esophageal atresia occurs alone, it can be diagnosed prenatally on prenatal ultrasound because it causes polyhydramnios (overproduction of amniotic fluid) to occur.

Esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula, and other anomalies of the trachea are almost never diagnosed before birth. However, short segment atresias of the trachea or the larynx (voice box) can be diagnosed prenatally.

Once your baby is born, imaging studies are usually done, along with a physical examination and medical history, to evaluate whether your baby has abnormalities of the esophagus and/or trachea. X-rays are taken to look at your baby's chest and abdomen.