Esophagectomy for esophageal cancer is one of the most challenging surgical procedures, with high rates of morbidity, especially from respiratory complications. SARS-COVID19 represents a health threat nowadays. Peri-operative SARS-COVID19 infection after esophagectomy might negatively affect the postoperative outcomes. The use of tocilizumab as an alternative to reduce the inflammatory response in SARS-COVID19 is an option that has not been described in the literature after esophagectomy.
A SARS-COVID19-vaccinated (CORONAVAC) 73-year-old man with pulmonary emphysema, coronary artery disease, previous asymptomatic pulmonary embolism, and adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction tumor was submitted to laparoscopic transhiatal esophagectomy (ypT2N0M0) after perioperative neoadjuvant chemotherapy. He was also infected with SARS-COVID19, confirmed by PCR test at the 14th postoperative day. During follow-up, mild hypoxemia persisted without evidence of infection except for SARS-COVID19, and a high-flow cannula was required to maintain oxygenation. Tocilizumab was administered following high parameters of a high-flow cannula, and invasive mechanical ventilation was avoided.
Besides of the risk of secondary infection, after administration of tocilizumab, the parameters of oxygen supplementation were systematically reduced, and he stayed in the ICU for seven days. He was discharged from the ward six days later. He developed late cervical anastomotic leakage, which was treated with conservative therapy.
Although the patient had high-risk comorbidities, esophagectomy, and SARS-COVID19 infection, the use of tocilizumab was safe and improved the pulmonary recovery.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.