Malignant Esophagorespiratory Fistula: Management Options and Survival

Ann Thorac Surg. 1991 Dec;52(6):1222-8; discussion 1228-9. doi: 10.1016/0003-4975(91)90005-b.

Abstract

The development of a malignant esophagorespiratory fistula is a devastating complication. Data comparing various treatment options in a large group of patients are sparse. To assess the results of therapy, we reviewed our experience in 207 patients with malignant esophagorespiratory fistula. Records of 207 patients admitted to our institution with malignant esophagorespiratory fistula from 1926 to 1988 were reviewed and results of management analyzed. Age ranged from 21 to 90 years (median, 59 years); the male/female ratio was 3:1. Primary tumor site was esophagus in 161 (77%), lung in 33 (16%), trachea in 5 (2%), metastatic nodes in 4 (2%), larynx in 3 (1%), and thyroid in 1. Symptoms and signs of malignant esophagorespiratory fistula included cough in 116 (56%), aspiration in 77 (37%), fever in 52 (25%), dysphagia in 39 (19%), pneumonia in 11 (5%), hemoptysis in 10 (5%), and chest pain in 10 (5%). Respiratory location of fistula included trachea in 110 (53%), left main bronchus in 46 (22%), right bronchus in 33 (16%), lung parenchyma in 13 (6%), and multiple sites in 5 (2%). The percentage of patients alive at 3, 6, and 12 months by treatment modality was 13%, 4%, and 1% for supportive care (n = 104); 17%, 3%, and 0% for esophageal exclusion (n = 29); 21%, 14%, and 0% for esophageal intubation (n = 14); 30%, 15%, and 5% for radiation therapy (n = 20); and 46%, 20%, and 7% for esophageal bypass, respectively. Patients treated with radiation therapy and esophageal bypass had a significantly prolonged survival compared with patients treated with the other modalities.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Actuarial Analysis
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchial Fistula / complications
  • Bronchial Fistula / etiology
  • Bronchial Fistula / mortality
  • Bronchial Fistula / therapy*
  • Esophageal Fistula / complications
  • Esophageal Fistula / etiology
  • Esophageal Fistula / therapy*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tracheal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Tracheal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / complications
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / etiology
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / mortality
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / therapy*