Esophageal Atresia: Future Directions for Research on the Digestive Tract
Esophageal atresia (EA) is a congenital malformation defined by the discontinuity of the esophagus occurring in 2.4 in 10,000 births. As survival rates are high, the significant medical morbidity became more relevant. Short-term and long-term morbidities involve the respiratory and gastrointestinal system in the majority of the patients. The impact of this morbidity seems large enough to inspire researchers to develop experimental animal models that may help understanding the pathogenesis and pathophysiology. These models can also be used to explore potential surgical therapies. We reviewed the clinical and experimental literature focusing on esophageal morbidity in EA. Although the consequences of esophageal motility disorders are very relevant in the clinical setting, research remains largely underexplored. Consequently, we suggest integrating motility function assessment in the existing research models.