The aim of this study was to assess whether clinicians approached the management of children with esophageal atresia (EA) in accordance with the 2016 European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN)/North American Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) guidelines on the management of gastrointestinal and nutritional complications in this cohort.
We invited expert physicians and surgeons closely involved in the care of children with EA (members of the International network on esophageal atresia (INoEA), ESPGHAN EA working group, French national EA registry, European pediatric surgical association (EUPSA) and European rare disease reference network (ERNICA)) to participate in an anonymous online survey containing 15 multiple choice questions concerning the management of gastrointestinal and nutritional complications in children with EA. Questions were based on the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) dysphagia, cyanotic spells, feeding and nutrition, anastamotic strictures and transition to adult care as detailed in the 2016 guidelines.
Median concordance with ESPGHAN/NASPHAN EA Guidelines was 69% (16-100%, SD 16%) across all responders. Areas of greatest concordance were in the fields of surveillance endoscopy and medical management of GERD. Areas for potential educational opportunities include: (1) the differential diagnosis and appropriate investigation of dysphagia and (2) the diagnostic evaluation of extraesophageal symptoms.
This survey highlights the importance of improving the understanding and adherence to the EA guidelines amongst clinicians involved in the care of these patients.