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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.



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.


An abnormal congenital or acquired communication between two surfaces or between a viscus or other hollow structure and the exterior.


In ancient Roman construction, a water pipe of lead or earthenware.


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Patients with a perilymph fistula frequently present with cochlear hearing loss; despite immediate fistula repair, the hearing outcome is often poor.
Traumatic lesions of the round window membrane and perilymph fistula.
Findings at presentation Early group Delayed group n (%) n (%) Subjective hearing loss 22 (100) 22 (100) Vertigo 7 (32) 2 (9) Tinnitus 10 (45) 9 (41) Otorrhea 8 (36) 13 (59) Perforation 22 (100) 17 (77) Ossicular injury 4 (18) 12 (55) Tympanosclerosis 2 (9) 10 (45) Cholesteatoma 0 5 (23) Facial nerve injury 0 2 (9) Nystagmus 2 (9) 0 Perilymph fistula 2 (9) 1 (5) Table 3.
One of the most important components in the diagnosis of a perilymph fistula is the patient's history.
The variability of signs and symptoms in patients with perilymph fistula has also been widely studied, and the data have been used to help develop diagnostic criteria.
Ultimately, a diagnosis of perilymph fistula must be confirmed by direct visualization.
In their 1985 case report on perilymph fistula caused by loudspeaker noise, Narula and Marks mentioned that Dahlmann reported in 1954 that the minimum pressure on the tympanic membrane necessary to cause visible movement of the stapes at the oval window is 60 mm Hg, which corresponds to a sound level of 84 dB.
19) Finally, trauma that is severe enough to cause a perilymph fistula may be severe enough to also cause delayed hydrops that can be very difficult to differentiate from a recurrent fistula.
However, perforations of 50% and larger, as well as those accompanied by traumatic perilymph fistulas and ossicular disarticulations, severely interfered with the detection of DPOAEs.
In order to simulate tympanic membrane perforations as they occur in traumatic cases, we also created perforations accompanied by perilymph fistulas and ossicular disarticulations to study their impact on DPOAE detection.
Postmortem dissections were performed on each ear under a microscope to confirm the perilymph fistulas and ossicular disarticulations.
Five additional ears provided DPOAE data concerning traumatic perilymph fistulas, and four ears provided DPOAE data on ossicular disarticulations.