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Treatment of oesophageal perforations

, : Treatment of oesophageal perforations. Tidsskrift for den Norske Laegeforening 128(9): 1050-1052

Esophageal perforation is a serious condition with a high mortality. Treatment is both surgical and conservative. Records were retrospectively reviewed for 22 patients (17 men), with median age 64 (30-85) years, that had been treated for esophageal perforation at Ullevaal University Hospital in the period 2000-2006. Perforation was cervical in two (9%) patients, thoracic in 19 (86%) and abdominal in 1 (5%) of the patient(s). The etiology was iatrogenic in 11 (50%) patients, emetic in 8 (36%) and caused by a foreign body in 3 (14%) patients. Five patients with an iatrogenic etiology had oesophageal cancer. Diagnosis after onset of symptoms was evident within 24 hours in 41% patients, during 24-72 hours in 14% and later than 72 hours in 45% of the patients. Half of the patients (11) were treated surgically, including two that had been initially treated conservatively. Five patients (23%) died of thoracic perforations during hospitalization and there were no other deaths. Median hospital stay was 54 (3-174) days. At the end of follow-up median survival was 113 (12-660) days and 10 of the 22 patients were dead (45%). Our impression is that early surgery of oesophageal perforation in fit patients can improve the outcome.


PMID: 18451885

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