Risk of stent-related aortic erosion after endoscopic stent insertion for intrathoracic anastomotic leaks after esophagectomy.
ABSTRACT Intrathoracic anastomotic leakage after esophagectomy is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Because of disappointing results after surgical reexploration endoscopic stent implantation was introduced as primary treatment option with improved outcome. Aortoesophageal fistula is a very rare complication and has thus far only anecdotally been reported after esophagectomy. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate if endoscopic stent implantation increases the incidence of postoperative aortoesophageal fistula by reason of stent-related erosion of the thoracic aorta.
Between January 2004 and October 2010, 213 patients underwent esophageal resection mainly for esophageal cancer. An intrathoracic esophageal anastomotic leak was endoscopically verified in 25 patients. Seventeen patients received endoscopic implantation of a self-expanding stent as primary treatment. In 8 patients a rethoracotomy was mandatory.
After successfully accomplished endoscopic stent placement, complete closure of the anastomotic leak was radiologically proven in all 17 patients. In 13 cases, definitive closure and healing of the leak was achieved and the stent could subsequently be removed. In 1 patient, because of early recurrence of very malignant small cell cancer, the stent remained in situ. Three patients developed an erosion of the thoracic aorta with subsequent massive hemorrhage. The mean time between stent insertion and occurrence of aortoesophageal fistula was 26 days. All 3 patients died of exsanguination with severe hypovolemic shock. Postmortem examination confirmed an aortoesophageal fistula in each case.
While endoscopic stent implantation seems to be effective in the control of intrathoracic anastomotic leakage, nevertheless the incidence of aortoesophageal fistula caused by stent-related aortic erosion exceeds the thus far reported numbers. Awareness of this life-threatening complication after stent insertion is therefore mandatory.
- SourceAvailable from: Grard A P Nieuwenhuijzen[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Anastomotic leakage after cervical oesophagogastrostomy is a common and difficult problem. Mediastinal manifestation of anastomotic leakage may lead to mediastinitis with dramatic and potentially lethal outcome. Contamination of the mediastinum can be controlled by endoscopic placement of an expandable metal stent. We present two cases of severe haemorrhage after mediastinal manifestation of anastomotic leakage in patients with and without expandable metal stent (EMS). This case report describes two cases of severe haemorrhage after thoracolaparoscopic esophagectomy with cervical oesophagogastrostomy. The recovery of both patients was complicated by anastomotic leakage with mediastinal manifestation. In one case, 11 days after placement of an EMS for anastomotic leakage a bleeding occurred in the cervical wound. Angiography during surgery showed contrast leakage in the aortic arch. Despite sternotomy and endovascular catheterization, there were no surgical options to treat this condition and the patient died of exsanguination. In the other case the patient presented with severe hematemesis 11 days after surgery. Shortly after this hematemesis the patient became hemodynamic instable. The patient was taken to the operation theatre, but before any intervention could take place resuscitation was needed and the patient died of exsanguination. Severe haemorrhage is a rare and potentially lethal complication after esophagectomy. This condition is related to anastomotic leakage with mediastinal manifestation. Awareness of this potentially lethal complication is important for early recognition and treatment of this condition. The role of endoscopic stenting of the cervical anastomosis is controversial and potentially dangerous.Journal of thoracic disease. 04/2013; 5(2):E58-60.