Esophageal stricture (ES) due to accidentally caustic digestions is a common problem in children. Mucosal damage and repeated dilatations lead to chronic inflammation and finally ES. We investigated the oxidative status and DNA damage of children with ES. Five children with ES were compared with the same age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Oxidative status of plasma was evaluated by measuring myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, and total peroxide (TP) level. Anti-oxidative status of the plasma was evaluated by measuring catalase (CAT) activity, and total antioxidant response (TAR). We used the Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis (also called Comet Assay) to measure DNA strand break in peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes. Mean MPO activity and TP levels in the ES group were significantly higher than the control group (0.83 +/- 0.35, 0.09 +/- 0.03 and 0.98 +/- 0.38, 0.34 +/- 0.20, P = 0.009 and P = 0.047 respectively). There was no significant difference in CAT activity and TAR levels between the two groups (P = 0.347). DNA damage in patients with ES was increased compared to control subjects (108.8 +/- 51.2 and 57.6 +/- 31.2 arbitrary units, respectively), but this difference was not significant statistically (P= 0.09). This study shows that systemic oxidative stress and alteration at the nuclear level occur in patients with ES, as a result of multiple dilatations and tissue injury. On the other hand, these results support that patients with ES may benefit from antioxidant treatment.