Radiation burden in patients with esophageal atresia: a systematic review

Assia Comella, Sharman P. Tan Tanny, John M. Hutson, Taher I. Omari, Warwick J. Teague, Ramesh M. Nataraja, Sebastian K. King

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)919-927
    Number of pages9
    JournalPediatric Surgery International
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


    • Esophageal atresia
    • Exposure
    • Outcomes
    • Radiation
    • Systematic review


    Dive into the research topics of 'Radiation burden in patients with esophageal atresia: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this