Aortoesophageal fistula: A case misdiagnosed as esophageal polyp

Department of Digestive Diseases and Beijing Digestive Disease Center, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100016, China.
World Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 12/2009; 15(47):6007-9. DOI: 10.3748/wjg.15.6007
Source: PubMed


Aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) is a rare and fatal disorder. It is also a life-threatening cause of massive upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Thoracic aortic aneurysm is the most common cause of AEF. Management of a patient with this disorder requires rapid diagnosis and immediate intervention, which is considered the best way to save the patient's life. We report a case of AEF misdiagnosed as esophageal polyp.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) is a rare but usually fatal complication of a foreign body in the esophagus. Little effective therapy exists to cure an AEF induced by esophageal foreign body. This report describes the authors' 40 years of experience treating patients with AEF caused by a foreign body and compares different treatments of patients and their clinical outcomes. Methods: The treatments of five patients with AEF caused by esophageal foreign body impaction were recorded at Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command from 1970 to 2011. One of these five patients was managed with nonsurgical measures, whereas three were treated by surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, and one was treated by surgery with endovascular stent-graft repair. Results: All five AEF cases were confirmed by computed tomography, esophagogastroscopy, surgical findings, or two or both. The nonsurgically treated patient died of fatal hemorrhage. Another patient died during the postoperative period because of ventricular fibrillation (he had a history of coronary heart disease before the operation), and still another patient died of fatal hemorrhage during the surgery. The remaining two patients were completely cured by surgery: the one via traditional open thoracotomy with cardiopulmonary bypass and the other by surgery with endovascular stent-graft repair. Conclusions: The authors' experience indicates that early diagnosis and an aggressive surgical treatment without delay is the only form of effective therapy for AEF. Endovascular stent-graft repair may be a safe and feasible method for treating patients with AEF that has potential as an improved treatment option for AEF.
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    ABSTRACT: To provide a systematic review of the outcomes of thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) and to identify prognostic factors associated with poor outcomes. Literature searches of the Embase, Medline, and Cochrane databases identified relevant articles reporting results of TEVAR for AEF. The main outcome measure was the composite of aortic mortality, recurrence of the AEF, and stent graft explantation. The secondary outcome measure was aortic-related mortality. Fifty-five articles were integrated after a literature search identified 72 patients treated by TEVAR for AEFs. The technical success rate of TEVAR was 87.3%. The overall 30-day mortality was 19.4%. Prolonged antibiotics (>4 weeks) were administered in 80% of patients. Concomitant or staged resection or repair of the esophagus was performed in 44.4% of patients. Stent graft explantation was performed within the first month after TEVAR as a planned treatment in 11.1%. After a mean follow-up of 7.4 months (range, 1-33 months), the all-cause mortality was 40.2%, and the aortic-related mortality was 33.3. Prolonged antibiotic treatment (P = .001) and repair of AEFs due to a foreign body (P = .038) were associated with a significant lower aortic mortality. On univariate analysis, TEVAR and concomitant or staged adjunctive procedures (resection, repair of the esophagus, or a planned stent graft explantation) were associated with a significantly lower incidence of aortic-related mortality (P = .0121). When entered into a binary logistic regression analysis, prolonged antibiotic treatment was the only factor associated with a significant lower incidence of the endpoint (P = .003). Late infection or recurrence of the AEF and associated mortality rates are high when TEVAR is used as a sole therapeutic strategy. Prolonged antibiotic treatment has a strong negative association with mortality. A strategy of a temporizing endovascular procedure to stabilize the patient in extremis, and upon recovery, an open surgical esophageal repair with or without stent graft explantation is advocated.
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