Management of Iatrogenic Cervical Esophageal Perforations

“Esophageal perforations are difficult to diagnose and have a high mortality rate. The existing studies on esophageal perforations address treatment by anatomic location and by cause, but few focus specifically on iCEPs. The management of iCEPs is controversial. There is a need for additional prospective studies comparing treatment options for iCEPs to establish a gold standard treatment and to assess for the expanding role of endoscopic interventions.” (Chen)

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Antifungal prophylaxis for esophageal perforation: what’s the evidence?

Elsayed H, et al. The impact of systemic fungal infection in patients with perforated oesophagus. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2012 Nov;94(8):579-84.

“Some authors have concluded that antifungal prophylaxis could reduce mortality by 25% in non-neutropaenic critically ill patients and should be given prophylactically to patients at increased risk of invasive fungal infections.24 Patients with oesophageal perforation, the majority of whom are managed initially on critical care units, have several factors that increase their risk of secondary candidal infection including prolonged antibiotic use, surgery and being on total parental nutrition as well as a possible higher rate of candidal colonisation. As a result, this makes them ideal candidates for empirical antifungal therapy from diagnosis. This is the routine practice in our hospital now.

Until a randomised study comparing administration of antifungal versus no antifungal therapy proves empirically that there is no benefit of adding this medication, antifungal prophylaxis should be standard in patients with a ruptured oesophagus once diagnosed. We appreciate the limitation of this study in terms of the number of patients (27) but as a ruptured oesophagus is a rare presentation, it would be difficult to have a randomised study with a large number of patients.” (p. 583)

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Management of Esophageal Perforation

Lindenmann J, Matzi V, Neuboeck N, et al. Management of esophageal perforation in 120 consecutive patients: clinical impact of a structured treatment algorithm. J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Jun;17(6):1036-43.

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Results: Iatrogenic perforation was the most frequent cause of esophageal perforation (58.3 %); Boerhaave’s syndrome was detected in 15 cases (6.8 %). Surgery was performed in 66 patients (55 %), 17 (14 %) patients received conservative treatment and 37 (31 %) patients underwent endoscopic stenting after tumorous perforation. Statistically significant impact on mean survival had Boerhaave’s syndrome (p = 0.005), initial sepsis (p = 0.002), pleural effusion/empyema (p = 0.001), mediastinitis (p = 0.003), peritonitis (p = 0.001), and redo-surgery (p = 0.000). Overall mortality rate was 11.7 %, in the esophagectomy group 17 % and in the patients with Boerhaave’s syndrome 33.3 %.

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