Esophageal atresia (EA) is the most common congenital esophageal disorder. Radiological imaging facilitates diagnosis, surgical interventions, and follow-up. Despite this, standardized monitoring guidelines are lacking. We aimed to: (1) review the literature regarding radiation burden in children with EA; (2) establish the presence of guidelines for diagnosis and follow-up in children with EA. The systematic review was performed according to PRISMA protocol. Two investigators conducted independent searches (PubMed, Ovid, Cochrane Review) and data extraction. Analysis focused on pre- and post-operative imaging type and frequency to determine the radiation burden. Seven studies met the inclusion criteria (337 patients). All authors agreed upon the need to minimize radiation burden, recommending symptoms-guided management, use of dosimeters, and non-radiating imaging. One study identified a median 130-fold increase in cumulative lifetime cancer risk in children with EA compared with other babies in the special care unit. The most common investigations were X-ray and CT (pre-operatively), and X-ray and contrast swallow (post-operatively). Standardized guidelines focused upon the frequency and type of radiological imaging for children with EA are lacking. Children with EA are subjected to more radiation exposure than the general population. Implementation of non-radiating imaging (ultrasonography, manometry) is recommended.
- Esophageal atresia
- Systematic review