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The role of fiberoptic endoscopy in the management of corrosive ingestion and modified endoscopic classification of burns.

We prospectively evaluated the role of fiberoptic esophagogastroduodenoscopy in the management of 81 patients with corrosive ingestion. A total of 381 endoscopic examinations were performed: 88 within 96 hours following corrosive ingestion, 108 between the third and ninth week, and 185 during the period of follow-up after bougie dilation of esophageal strictures. The customary endoscopic classification of burns (grades 0 to 3) was modified by subdividing grade 2 burns into 2a and 2b, and grade 3 burns into 3a and 3b for prognostic and therapeutic implications. There was no significant correlation between oropharyngeal and upper gastrointestinal tract injury. Early major complications and deaths were confined to patients with grade 3 burns. All patients with grade 0, 1, and 2a burns recovered without sequelae. The majority of patients (71.4%) with grade 2b injury and all survivors with grade 3 injury developed esophageal or gastric cicatrization, or both, which needed endoscopic or surgical treatment. There were no complications related to endoscopy. We conclude that early endoscopy is not only a safe, reliable, and accurate diagnostic tool in such patients, but also is of crucial importance in management and prognosis.

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