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J Cardiothorac Surg. 2009 May 8;4:21. doi: 10.1186/1749-8090-4-21.

Successful management of an aortoesophageal fistula caused by a fish bone--case report and review of literature.

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  • 1Dept of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


We report a case of aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) caused by a fish bone that had a successful outcome. Aortoesophageal fistula is a rare complication of foreign body ingestion from which few patients survive. Over one hundred cases of AEF secondary to foreign body ingestion have been documented but only seven, including our case, have survived over 12 months. Treatment involved stabilising the patient with a Sengstaken-Blakemore tube and insertion of a thoracic aortic endovascular stent-graft. Unfortunately the stent became infected and definitive open surgical repair involved removing the stent, replacing the aorta with a homograft and coverage with a left trapezius flap while under deep hypothermic arrest.

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