Aortoesophageal Fistula Secondary to Stent-Graft Repair of the Thoracic Aorta

Holger Eggebrecht*, Dietrich Baumgart, Klaus Radecke, Clemens Von Birgelen, Ulrich Treichel, Ulf Herold, Peter Hunold, Guido Gerken, Heinz Jakob, Raimund Erbel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    77 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To report the incidence and management of aortoesophageal fistula (AEF) secondary to endovascular stent-graft repair of the descending thoracic aorta. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of patients treated at our facility between July 1999 and June 2003. During this interval, 60 patients (46 men; average age 66±10 years) underwent thoracic aortic stent-graft placement for a variety of pathologies. Results: AEF occurred in 3 (5%) patients. One 62-year-old man presented with recurrent back pain and fever and died suddenly due to fatal exsanguination; the AEF was revealed at necropsy. The other 2 patients (both woman) presented with hematemesis after endovascular repair of thoracic aortic aneurysms. AEF was detected by esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Both patients were treated conservatively, as open surgical repair was refused because of their general condition. Both patients developed severe mediastinitis and died after 5 weeks and 10 months, respectively. Conclusions: Aortoesophageal fistula is, in our experience, a catastrophic complication of endovascular stent-graft placement. Treatment options are very limited, as these patients are usually not candidates for open surgery. Outcome under conservative management is, however, almost invariably fatal.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-167
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Endovascular Therapy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004


    • Aortoenteric fistula
    • Aortoesophageal fistula
    • Complication
    • Endovascular repair
    • Esophageal ulcer
    • Hematemesis
    • Mediastinitis
    • Mortality
    • Rupture
    • Stent-graft
    • Thoracic aorta
    • Thoracic aortic aneurysm
    • Thoracic aortic dissection


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