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Aortoesophageal fistula after thoracic aortic stent-graft placement: a rare but catastrophic complication of a novel emerging technique.

AbstractOBJECTIVES:
Our goal was to report characteristics and outcomes of 6 patients with aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) after thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR).
BACKGROUND:
Neurologic events are severe complications of TEVAR. With growing experience of TEVAR, other yet unexpected devastating complications have emerged.
METHODS:
Between July 1999 and August 2008, 268 patients underwent TEVAR for various thoracic aortic diseases at our institution.
RESULTS:
Six of 268 patients (age 49 to 77 years, 50% female patients) developed AEF (incidence 1.9%) within 1 to 16 months after the procedure. Indications for TEVAR were acute aortic dissection (n = 3), chronic aortic dissection (n = 1), and thoracic aortic aneurysm (n = 2). Four patients presented with sudden massive hematemesis whereas 2 patients were readmitted for new-onset fever and elevated markers of inflammation that preceded hematemesis. Esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy identified deep esophageal ulcerations at the level of the implanted aortic stent-graft in 4 patients, but only mild erosive lesions within the proximal esophagus without signs of active bleeding in the remaining 2 patients. Surgical repair was performed in only 1 patient and declined in the remaining because of comorbidities and multiorgan system failure. Despite this, all patients died due to fatal rebleeding (n = 4) or mediastinitis (n = 2).
CONCLUSIONS:
AEF is a rare and unusual complication of TEVAR that occurs relatively early after the procedure and is almost invariably fatal. New-onset fever with elevated inflammatory markers or hematemesis should heighten clinical suspicion of AEF in TEVAR patients and prompt computed tomography or esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy in the hope of detecting, triaging, and treating this early to improve the otherwise dismal outcomes of these patients.
AuthorsHolger Eggebrecht, Rajendra H Mehta, Alexander Dechene, Konstantinos Tsagakis, Hilmar Kühl, Sebastian Huptas, Guido Gerken, Heinz G Jakob, Raimund Erbel
JournalJACC. Cardiovascular interventions (JACC Cardiovasc Interv) Vol. 2 Issue 6 Pg. 570-6 (Jun 2009) ISSN: 1876-7605 [Electronic] United States
PMID19539264 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Inflammation Mediators
Topics
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting (surgery)
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic (surgery)
  • Aortic Diseases (etiology, mortality, pathology, surgery)
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation (adverse effects, instrumentation)
  • Databases as Topic
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System
  • Esophageal Fistula (etiology, mortality, surgery)
  • Female
  • Fever (etiology)
  • Hemorrhage (etiology)
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators (blood)
  • Male
  • Mediastinitis (etiology)
  • Middle Aged
  • Stents
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Fistula (etiology, mortality, pathology, surgery)

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