Esophageal perforation: Diagnostic work-up and clinical decision-making in the first 24 hours
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Abstract Esophageal perforation is a rare and potentially life-threatening condition. Early clinical suspicion and imaging is important for case management to achieve a good outcome. However, recent studies continue to report high morbidity and mortality greater than 20% from esophageal perforation. At least half of the perforations are iatrogenic, mostly related to endoscopic instrumentation used in the upper gastrointestinal tract, while about a third are spontaneous perforations. Surgical treatment remains an important option for many patients, but a non-operative approach, with or without use of an endoscopic stent or placement of internal or external drains, should be considered when the clinical situation allows for a less invasive approach. The rarity of this emergency makes it difficult for a physician to obtain extensive individual clinical experience; it is also challenging to obtain firm scientific evidence that informs patient management and clinical decision-making. Improved attention to non-specific symptoms and signs and early diagnosis based on imaging may translate into better outcomes for this group of patients, many of whom are elderly with significant comorbidity.
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
CopyrightCopyright 2011 Søreide and Viste; licensee BioMed Central Ltd
Jon Søreide et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.