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J Vasc Surg. 2014 Jan;59(1):248-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2013.07.117. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

Thoracic endovascular aortic repair in management of aortoesophageal fistulas.

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Department of Outcomes Research, St George's Vascular Institute, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Department of Outcomes Research, St George's Vascular Institute, London, United Kingdom.



To provide a systematic review of the outcomes of thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) and to identify prognostic factors associated with poor outcomes.


Literature searches of the Embase, Medline, and Cochrane databases identified relevant articles reporting results of TEVAR for AEF. The main outcome measure was the composite of aortic mortality, recurrence of the AEF, and stent graft explantation. The secondary outcome measure was aortic-related mortality.


Fifty-five articles were integrated after a literature search identified 72 patients treated by TEVAR for AEFs. The technical success rate of TEVAR was 87.3%. The overall 30-day mortality was 19.4%. Prolonged antibiotics (>4 weeks) were administered in 80% of patients. Concomitant or staged resection or repair of the esophagus was performed in 44.4% of patients. Stent graft explantation was performed within the first month after TEVAR as a planned treatment in 11.1%. After a mean follow-up of 7.4 months (range, 1-33 months), the all-cause mortality was 40.2%, and the aortic-related mortality was 33.3. Prolonged antibiotic treatment (P = .001) and repair of AEFs due to a foreign body (P = .038) were associated with a significant lower aortic mortality. On univariate analysis, TEVAR and concomitant or staged adjunctive procedures (resection, repair of the esophagus, or a planned stent graft explantation) were associated with a significantly lower incidence of aortic-related mortality (P = .0121). When entered into a binary logistic regression analysis, prolonged antibiotic treatment was the only factor associated with a significant lower incidence of the endpoint (P = .003).


Late infection or recurrence of the AEF and associated mortality rates are high when TEVAR is used as a sole therapeutic strategy. Prolonged antibiotic treatment has a strong negative association with mortality. A strategy of a temporizing endovascular procedure to stabilize the patient in extremis, and upon recovery, an open surgical esophageal repair with or without stent graft explantation is advocated.

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