Background: Aortobronchial fistula (ABF) and aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) are rare but lethal if untreated; open thoracic surgery is associated with high operative mortality and morbidity. In this case series, we sought to investigate outcomes of thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for emergency cases of ABF and AEF. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients with AEF and ABF undergoing TEVAR in three European teaching hospitals between 2000 and January 2009. Eleven patients were identified including 6 patients with ABF, 4 patients with AEF, and 1 patient with a combined ABF and AEF. In-hospital outcomes and follow-up after TEVAR were evaluated. Results: Median age was 63 years (interquartile range, 31); 8 were male. Ten patients presented with hemoptysis or hematemesis; 4 developed hemorrhagic shock. All patients underwent immediate TEVAR, and 3 AEF patients required additional esophageal surgery. Five patients died (45%), including 3 patients with AEF, 1 patient with ABF, and 1 patient with a combined ABF and AEF, after a median duration of 22 days (interquartile range, 51 days). The patient with AEF that survived had received early esophageal reconstruction. Causes of death were: sepsis (n = 2), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (n = 1), thoracic infections (n = 1), and aortic rupture (n = 1). Median follow-up of surviving patients was 45 months (interquartile range, 45 months). Six additional vascular interventions were performed in 3 survivors. Conclusion: TEVAR does prevent immediate exsanguination in patients admitted with AEF and ABF, but after initial deployment of the endograft and control of the hemodynamic status, most patients, in particular those with AEF, are at risk for infectious complications. Early esophageal repair after TEVAR appears to improve the survival in case of AEF. Therefore, TEVAR may serve as a bridge to surgery in emergency cases of AEF with subsequent definitive open operative repair of the esophageal defect as soon as possible. In patients with ABF, additional open surgery may not be necessary after the endovascular procedure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine