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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Treatment of oroantral fistula: experience with 27 cases.
Palatal rotation-advancement flap for delayed repair of oroantral fistula: a retrospective evaluation of 63 cases.
BFP can be used alone also for closure of oroantral fistula, it has advantage that it does not alter the vestibular depth but in large defects there are chances of failure due to tension and insufficient volume.
Double-layered closure of oroantral fistula using buccal fat pad and buccal advancement flap.
When properly dissected and mobilized, the buccal fat pad can provide 7x4x3 cm graft.10 In this case series, buccal fat pad was used to reconstruct partial maxillectomy defects, oroantral fistula, defects of cheek mucosa, maxillary tuberosity and retromolar area.
De Moraes12 also reported a case in which buccal fat pad was utilized to seal an oroantral fistula in the same surgical step used for zygomatic implant technique.
The advantages of BFP in affecting closure of oro- antral fistula have been cited to be a thoroughly vas- cularized flap, availability in the immediate proximity, minimal donor site morbidity, rapid mucosalization and the return of the buccal flap to its original anatomical position to avoid obliteration of the buccal vestibule.6 It has been shown in studies that the BFP does not need to be covered by a skin graft when exposed to heal in the mouth, because of its inherent ability to epitheli- alize readily within 2 to 3 weeks.17 It is considered the primary choice for repair of oroantral fistula by some surgeons, whereas others like Samman et al18 justify its use only in cases where the buccal advancement flap is damaged and can be used as a primary option.
Closure of oroantral fistula through a combined use of buccal fat pad and buccal advancement flap is a safe and reliable method, with few complications and provides an adequate barrier to withstand a mild degree of sinus inflammation which is invariably present in the setting of an oroantral fistula.
Fractured tooth roots were visualized in tooth socket 14, but no obvious oroantral fistula was seen.
The study was carried out on 60 patients with oroantral fistula reported to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Khyber College of Dentistry Peshawar from Aug 2004 to Aug 2007.Diagnostic criteria were history, clinical examination, Periapical views, orthopantomogram and paranasal air sinuses (PNS) view.
The abnormal communication between the oral cavity and maxillary sinus lined by epithelium is called oroantral fistula.1 Oroantral communication and subsequent formation of oroantral fistula is a common complication of dental extraction of maxillary molars2.
Oroantral communication followed by oroantral fistula (OAF) is a rare surgical complication in oral and maxillofacial surgery.1 The maxillary sinus occupies an important place in oral and maxillofacial surgery ow-ing to its close anatomic relationship to the apices of posterior maxillary teeth.2 Maxillary sinus is also known as Highmore's antrum.