Thank you to Christophe Faure, MD, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montréal, Canada for submitting this meeting review.
Esophageal atresia (EA) is among the most common congenital digestive malformations, affecting 1 in 3,000 infants at birth. Since the first successful primary repair of esophageal atresia (EA) in 1941, improvements in operative and perioperative care have led to a 90 to 95% survival rate, and thus leading to an evolvement from mortality to long-term morbidity and quality-of-life issues. EA is no longer just a neonatal surgical problem but rather a lifelong problem. It appears that respiratory, nutritional, and gastroenterological issues are the most prevalent health issues in the first years of life and also in adolescence and adulthood.
The International Network of Esophageal Atresia (INoEA) was founded in 2013 and is devoted to put together all people interested and involved in the care of patients with EA from birth to adulthood.
More than 200 participants from all over the world attended the conference.
From June 24-28, 2019, the fifth International Conference on Esophageal Atresia took place in Rome, Italy, hosted and organized by the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital under the auspices of the INoEA – in collaboration with the federation of Esophageal Atresia and Trachea-esophageal fistula support groups (EAT) and the Italian Association of Families with Esophageal Atresia (FATE).
This meeting was organized according to a model of conference based specifically on disease, bringing together all disciplines and specialities all linked together by their common interest and expertise in treating EA with an important participation of parents and patients support groups.
There were over 120 scientific abstracts submitted. Similar to previous conferences, all the categories of people involved in the care of EA patients were represented; neonatologists, pediatricians, surgeons, gastroenterologists, otolaryngologists, pulmonologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists, nurses, dieticians, speech pathologists, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers, parents of patients, and children and adults with EA. The scientific program covered the entire spectrum of disease. Conferences and sessions by world’s experts were given on recurrent tracheo-esophageal fistula, laryngo-tracheal cleft, esophageal motility disorders and GER in EA, long gap EA management, tissue engineering, building networks, transition to adult with special interest to Barrett’s esophagus and cancer surveillance, and anastomotic stricture management. The INoEA consensus guidelines on the management of respiratory and ENT complications in children with EA were presented. Lunches with the experts with exciting clinical discussions took place on associated oral/head malformations, how to build an aero-digestive team, the thoracoscopic approach in EA, eosinophilic esophagitis. Research papers were orally presented by attendees during special sessions with exciting discussions.
Abstracts from this meeting were published in Volume 32, Issue Supplement_1 in the Journal for Diseases of the Esophagus.
The success of the event confirms one more time the importance of adopting a multidisciplinary approach and creating links between not only pediatric and adult medicine but also with parent support groups.
We look forward to the next Sixth International conference on EA which will be held in Cincinnati, USA in 2022 where new advancements and innovations in the field will be presented.
The International Network of Esophageal Atresia (INoEA) is a valued Associated Society of ISDE. Due to this special partnership, abstracts presented at the meeting were published as a supplement of the ISDE society journal Diseases of the Esophagus, and are accessible to ISDE Members and DOTE subscribers.