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J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2016 Jun;25(2):249-52. doi: 10.15403/jgld.2014.1121.252.mlg.

Treatment of Malignant Esophageal Fistulas: Fluoroscopic Placement of Esophageal SEMS, Endoscopically-assisted through Surgical Gastrostomy. A Case Report.

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Gastroenterology Department, Clinical Emergency Hospital Bucharest, Romania.
Intensive Care Unit, Clinical Emergency Hospital Bucharest, Romania.
Radiology Department, Clinical Emergency Hospital Bucharest, Romania.


Progressive esophageal carcinoma can infiltrate the surrounding tissues with subsequent development of a fistula, most commonly between the esophagus and the respiratory tract. The endoscopic placement of covered self-expanding metallic stents (SEMS) is the treatment of choice for malignant esophageal fistulas and should be performed immediately, as a fistula formation represents a potential life-threatening complication. We report the case of a 64-year-old male diagnosed with esophageal carcinoma, who had a 20Fr surgical gastrostomy tube inserted before chemo- and radiotherapy and was referred to our department for complete dysphagia, cough after swallowing and fever. The attempt to insert a SEMS using the classic endoscopic procedure failed. Then, a fully covered stent was inserted, as the 0.035" guide wire was passed through stenosis retrogradely by using an Olympus Exera II GIF-N180 (4.9 mm in diameter endoscope) via surgical gastrostomy, with a good outcome for the patient. The retrograde approach via gastrostomy under endoscopic/fluoroscopic guidance with the placement of a fully covered SEMS proved to be the technique of choice, in a patient with malignant esophageal fistula in whom other methods of treatment were not feasible.

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