A fistula is an abnormal connection in between two body parts, such as an body organ or blood vessel and also another structure. Fistulas are usually the an outcome of one injury or surgery. Infection or inflammation can additionally cause a fistula come form.

You are watching: An abnormal passage between two internal organs


Fistulas may take place in numerous parts of the body. Lock can type between:

An artery and also veinThe neck and throatThe room inside the skull and also nasal sinusThe bowel and vaginaThe colon and surface the the body, bring about feces to leave through an opening other than the anusThe stomach and also surface that the skinThe uterus and also peritoneal cavity (the an are between the wall surfaces of the abdomen and also internal organs)An artery and vein in the lung (results in blood no picking up sufficient oxygen in the lungs)The navel and also gut

Inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease, have the right to lead to fistulas in between one loop the intestine and also another. Injury can cause fistulas to kind between arteries and veins.

Types of fistulas include:

Blind (open on one end only, yet connects to two structures)Complete (has openings both outside and also inside the body)Horseshoe (connects the anus come the surface ar of the skin ~ going roughly the rectum)Incomplete (a tube from the skin the is close up door on the inside and also does not affix to any internal structure)

De Prisco G, Celinski S, Spak CW. Abdominal abscesses and gastrointestinal fistulas. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran"s Gastrointestinal and also Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 28.

Lentz GM, Krane M. Anal incontinence: diagnosis and management. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 22.

Taber"s Medical thesaurus Online website. Fistula. In: Venes D, ed. 23rd ed. Taber"s Online. F.A. Davis Company, 2017. Www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/759338/all/fistula.

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Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical associate Professor, department of household Medicine, UW Medicine, school of Medicine, university of Washington, Seattle, WA. Likewise reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and also the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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