Hong Kong medical journal = Xianggang yi xue za zhi 2017 03 10() doi 10.12809/hkmj164942
The mortality rate after oesophageal perforation is high despite advances in operative and non-operative techniques. In this study, we sought to identify risk factors for hospital mortality.
We retrospectively examined patients treated for oesophageal perforation in a university teaching hospital in Hong Kong between January 1997 and December 2013. Their demographic and clinical characteristics, aetiology, management strategies, and outcomes were recorded and analysed.
We identified a cohort of 43 patients treated for perforation of the oesophagus (28 men; median age, 66 years; age range, 30-98 years). Perforation was spontaneous in 22 (51.2%) patients (15 with Boerhaave’s syndrome and seven with malignant perforation), iatrogenic in 15 (34.9%), and provoked by foreign body ingestion in six (14.0%). Of the patients, 14 (32.6%) had pre-existing oesophageal disease. Perforation occurred in the intrathoracic oesophagus in 30 (69.8%) patients. Emergent surgery was undertaken in 23 patients: 16 underwent primary repair, six surgical drainage or exclusion, and one oesophagectomy. Twenty patients were managed non-operatively, 13 of whom underwent stenting. Two stented patients subsequently required oesophagectomy. Four patients had clinical signs of leak after primary repair: two were treated conservatively and two required oesophagectomy. Overall, six (14.0%) patients required oesophagectomy, one of whom died. Nine other patients also died in hospital; the hospital mortality rate was 23.3%. Pre-existing pulmonary and hepatic disease, and perforation associated with malignancy were significantly associated with in-hospital mortality (P=0.03, <0.01, and <0.01, respectively). CONCLUSIONS
Most oesophageal perforations were spontaneous. Mortality was substantial despite modern therapies. Presence of pre-existing pulmonary disease, hepatic disease, and perforation associated with malignancy were significantly associated with hospital mortality. Salvage oesophagectomy was successful in selected patients.