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fistula (fĭsˈcho͝olə), 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, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and other disorders. Usually a fistula requires surgery. In horses an abscess on the withers from chafing and infection is termed a fistula.
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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Brunisholz et al., "Consider the Risk of Vesicouterine Fistula in the Event of Intermittent Fluid Vaginal Discharge after a Cesarean Section," Frontiers in Surgery, vol.
Singh, "Long-term outcome of laparoscopic vesicouterine fistula repair: Experience from a tertiary referral centre," Turkish Journal of Urology, vol.
Scientific publications have presented some clinical cases of pregnancy accompanied by vesicouterine fistula; however, only three cases of embryonic or fetal migration into the bladder cavity have been reported so far.
Another publication by Gupta and coauthors presented a report about prolapse of amniotic sac through a vesicouterine fistula at 22 weeks of pregnancy [12].
Treatment options for vesicouterine fistula include conservative management, medical and surgical therapy.
(1.) Hadzi-Djokic JB, PejcicTP, Colovic VC, Vesicouterine fistula report of 14 cases.
Vesicouterine fistula. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2014; 24:S86-8.
Radiological diagnosis of vesicouterine fistula: Role of magnetic resonance imaging.
We present a case of vesicouterine fistula presenting 30 years after primary Cesarean section.
Vesicouterine fistula: A rare complication of vaginal birth after cesarean.
1.: A retrograde cystography showing the vesicouterine fistula. [Figure omitted]
Vesicouterine fistulas (VUF) are the least common type of urogenital fistulas, which is defined as an uncommon communication between the bladder and the uterus or the cervix.[sup.1] It may have an early or delayed presentation.