Successful management of aorto esophageal fistula due to rupture thoracic aortic aneurysm in an elderly patient

Research paper by Akifusa Hariya, Haruo Makuuchi, Yoshihiro Naruse, Toshiya Kobayashi, Koji Ogata, Masahiko Tsurumaru

Indexed on: 01 Aug '98Published on: 01 Aug '98Published in: The Japanese journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery : official publication of the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery = Nihon Kyobu Geka Gakkai zasshi


Aorto-esophageal fistula due to ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm is very rare but is associated with extremely high mortality. An 81-year-old woman was admitted due to repeated hematemesis. Endoscopic examination revealed ulceration with blood clot on the mid-esophagus and compression of an extra-esophageal mass. The thoracic CT scan revealed an aortoesophageal fistula due to a ruptured descending thoracic aortic aneurysm. Surgery was performed on April 3, 1996. We report an aorto-esophageal fistula managed successfully in one stage by resection and replacement of the aortic aneurysm with a prosthetic graft and total esophageal resection. The esophagus was reconstructed using orthotopic gastric interposition with omentopexy around the prosthetic aortic graft. The postoperative course was uneventful and theere have been no signs of mediastinal sepsis, graft infection or pyothorax 12 months postoperatively. We suggest that the resection of both the aneurysm and the esophagus as well as the immediate reconstruction of the esophagus by orthotopic gastric interposition to obliterate the retrosternal space are important technique in the management of intrathoracic infections.