Esophageal stricture, also called benign stricture of the esophagus, is a narrowing of the esophagus, causing swallowing difficulties.
Incidence; Causes and Development; Contributing Risk Factors
The overall incidence is about 1 in 500 people.
- Reflux esophagitis (which causes constant irritation from gastric secretions)
- Prolonged use of a nasogastric tube
- Ingestion of corrosive substances
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Treatment of esophageal varices
- Injuries caused by endoscopes.
Risk factors are related to the causes.
Diagnosis and Tests
Diagnosis involves using a barium swallow and/or endoscopy
to show narrowing of the esophagus
Treatment and Prevention
Dilation of the esophagus
is the preferred treatment. Repeated dilation may be necessary to prevent the recurrence of the narrowing. If dilation is unsuccessful, surgical replacement of the esophagus with a segment of the stomach or large intestine may be attempted.
Recurrence of the stricture
Swallowing difficulties may lead to inadequate intake of fluids and nutrients. There is also an increased risk (with regurgitation) of having food, fluid, or vomitus enter the lungs and cause aspiration pneumonia.