Therapeutic strategy for treating aortoesophageal fistulas

Hidetoshi Akashi, Shunsuke Kawamoto, Yoshikatsu Saiki, Tomohiko Sakamoto, Yoshiki Sawa, Takuro Tsukube, Suguru Kubota, Yoshiro Matsui, Norihisa Karube, Kiyotaka Imoto, Katsuhiro Yamanaka, Shunichi Kondo, Satoru Tobinaga, Hiroyuki Tanaka, Yutaka Okita, Hiromasa Fujita

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The development fistulas between the thoracic aorta and the esophagus are highly fatal conditions. We aimed to identify a therapeutic strategy for treating aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) in this study, by investigating all AEF cases presented in this special symposium at the 65th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Methods: Forty-seven AEF patients were included in this study. The survivors and nonsurvivors at six and 18 months after diagnosis of AEF were classified into “Group A6”, “Group D6”, “Group A18”, and “Group D18”, respectively. Comparisons between Group A6 and Group D6 and between Group A18 and Group D18 were made with regard to therapeutic strategy.

Results: Twenty-two (46.8 %) and 33 (70.3 %) of the 47 patients died within 6 and 18 months, respectively. The patients treated with omentum wrapping (p = 0.0052), esophagectomy (p = 0.0269) and a graft replacement strategy for the aorta (p = 0.002) were more frequently included in Group A6. The patients with the omentum wrapping (p = 0.0174) and esophagectomy (p = 0.0203) and graft replacement were more significantly included in Group A18. The results of the multivariate analysis indicated that the mortality rate at 6 and 18 months after diagnosis was significantly correlated with graft replacement (p = 0.0188) and esophagectomy (p = 0.0257), respectively. There were significant differences in the actuarial survival curves in patients who had omentum wrapping, graft replacement, and esophagectomy compared to patients who did not have these 3 therapeutic procedures.

Conclusion: The use of thoracic endovascular aortic repair alone for AEF should not be considered a definitive surgery. In contrast, esophagectomy, open surgery with aortic replacement using prostheses and homografts and greater omentum wrapping significantly improve the mid-term survival of AEF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 4


  • Aortoesophageal fistula
  • Graft replacement
  • Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR)


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