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(fĭs`cho͝olə), abnormal, usually ulcerous channellike formation between two internal organs or between an internal organ and the skin. It may follow a surgical procedure with improper healing, or it may be caused by injury, abscess, or infection with penetration deep enough to reach another organ or the skin. When open at only one end it is called an incomplete fistula or sinus. The most common sites of fistula are the rectum and the urinary organs, but almost any part of the body may be affected. Rectal fistulas are often associated with colitis, cancercancer,
in medicine, common term for neoplasms, or tumors, that are malignant. Like benign tumors, malignant tumors do not respond to body mechanisms that limit cell growth.
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, sexually transmitted diseasessexually transmitted disease
(STD) or venereal disease,
term for infections acquired mainly through sexual contact. Five diseases were traditionally known as venereal diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, and the less common granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, and
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, and other disorders. Usually a fistula requires surgery. In horses an abscess on the withers from chafing and infection is termed a fistula.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an abnormal passage between hollow organs or between an organ, body cavity, or focus of disease and the body surface. Usually in the form of a narrow canal lined with epithelium or granulations, it continuously discharges pus, mucus, bile, urine, or feces.

Congenital fistulas, for example, umbilical fistulas, are developmental anomalies. Acquired fistulas result from such chronic inflammations as osteomyelitis, from tumors, or from injuries. Fistulas are usually treated by surgery.

It is sometimes necessary to create artificial fistulas surgically. They may connect hollow organs, in which case they are called internal fistulas, or anastomoses. An example is gastroenteroanastomosis in cicatricial stenosis of the outlet of the stomach.

Gastrostomy is the establishment of an external fistula, or stoma, for artificial feeding. External fistulas also permit the discharge of urine or feces. For example, cystostoma is a fistula of the urinary bladder formed when the urethra is compressed by a tumor. With external fistulas, care must be taken to avoid irritating or infecting the surrounding skin.


Struchkov, V. I. Gnoinaia khirurgiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An abnormal congenital or acquired communication between two surfaces or between a viscus or other hollow structure and the exterior.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


In ancient Roman construction, a water pipe of lead or earthenware.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Pathol an abnormal opening between one hollow organ and another or between a hollow organ and the surface of the skin, caused by ulceration, congenital malformation, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Yilmaz, "Leakage tests reduce the frequency of biliary fistulas following hydatid liver cyst surgery," Clinics, vol.
Univariate analysis of risk factors in sepsis development Univariate Analysis of Predictive Factors: RR: 95% CI: Abdominal Pain 5.72 1.25-26.24 Biliary Fistula 13.90 1.78-108.43 Abscess formation 3.73 1.43-9.7 Intestinal Injury 3.79 1-14.45 Vascular Injury 14.4 4.29-48.25 RR: relative risk; 95% CI: 95% confidence interval Table 6.
This is our second such experience in managing external biliary fistula. Previously a 40-year-male patient presented to us with external biliary fistula following open cholecystectomy.
The incidence of the primary biliary fistulas is ranged from 1 to 2%, in symptomatic patients; in Latin America it is more common (4.7-5.7%) [4].
We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), sphincterotomy and biliary stenting in the management of biliary fistulas after laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
The fistula was intubated with a MIC-G balloon retention gastrostomy tube (Vygon, Cirencester, UK) (for patients with biliary fistula, a T-tube was applied).
In 1893 Leon Bouveret first described this syndrome, in which one or more gallstones pass into the duodenum through a biliary fistula causing gastric outlet obstruction.
External biliary fistula of gallbladder with anterior abdominal wall following prolonged cholelithiasis though very rare, has also been a rare presentation of giant gall stone (14).
Three patients (14%) developed biliary fistula, 1 of which persisted until the patient's death.
Figure of 8 technique was associated with lower incidence of post-operative complications like wound complications, respiratory complications and biliary fistula compared to Grahams patch.
One month following the surgery the patient developed a biliary fistula which subsided with conservative management.
One case presented with intrathoracic rupture through diaphragm, hepatobronchial biliary fistula and destruction of lung parenchyma.