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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 ?
Measuring beta-trace protein for detection of perilymph fistulas [in German].
One delayed-group patient developed a perilymph fistula.
Notable exceptions were the 2 early-group patients whose penetrating trauma led to perilymph fistula and luxation of the stapes into the vestibule; as mentioned, both ultimately developed a dead ear.
Penetrating missile-type trauma may directly injure the stapes or inner ear and result in perilymph fistula, vertigo, and reduced cochlear function.
The diagnosis of a perilymph fistula can be difficult because of its many possible causes and the highly variable signs and symptoms that have been associated with the condition.
Perilymph fistula first became recognized as a legitimate clinical diagnosis around the time that stapedectomy surgery for otosclerosis was becoming popular.
One of the most important components in the diagnosis of a perilymph fistula is the patient's history.
There were significant differences between the condition of the perforation alone and the condition of the perforation with an accompanying traumatic perilymph fistula (p[less than]0.
We found that DPOAEs could still be detected in the presence of perforations as large as 25% of the pars tensa at the specified frequencies in the guinea pig, unless they were accompanied by additional trauma in the form of perilymph fistula or ossicular discontinuity; in that case, DPOAEs were not detectable.
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.