Wada, T., Takeuchi, H., Fujimura, N. et al. Esophagus (2011) 8: 277. doi:10.1007/s10388-011-0287-3
Although occurring infrequently, esophago-mediastinal fistula is potentially life-threatening. We report a rare case of intractable esophago-mediastinal fistula following thoracoabdominal aortic replacement. A 62-year-old male patient with aortic dissection underwent thoracoabdominal aortic replacement. He suddenly developed septic shock with esophageal perforation on the 6th postoperative day. Conservative therapy was employed, and he was discharged from the hospital. However, he suffered another attack of septic shock resulting from an esophago-mediastinal fistula. Gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed a suture thread beside an esophageal fistula. The patient consequently underwent esophagectomy. After removal of the esophagus, we found a suture thread with pledgets in the mediastinum and removed it. He recovered successfully thereafter. Esophago-mediastinal fistula associated with pledgets is a rare complication of thoracoabdominal aortic replacement. We believe that radical surgery can be an effective treatment. A review of the current literature did not reveal any similar cases. In this report, we discuss the clinical course of such a rare case.