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Dis Esophagus

Proceedings from an international conference on ablation therapy for Barretts mucosa. Brittany, France, 31 August-2 September 1997.

Year 1998
Bremner CG. Demeester TR.
Department of Surgery, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA.
The increasing incidence of adenocarcinoma of the lower esophagus and cardia arising in Barrett's metaplastic epithelium continues to be of great concern because medical and surgical efforts to reverse the process have been disappointing. A potential answer to the problem is removal of the metaplastic epithelium. Modern technology has introduced physical and chemical modalities which facilitate ablation of the neo-epithelium endoscopically. These techniques have been used in several centers, and preliminary results are encouraging. This report summarizes the proceedings of an international symposium on ablative therapy held in Brittany, France in August 1997. Twenty-eight speakers contributed to the talks on the pathology, pathogenesis, current therapy experimental studies and clinical experience of ablation of Barrett's esophagus.

Quality of life following esophagectomy with three-field lymphadenectomy for carcinoma, focusing on its relationship to vocal cord palsy.

Year 1998
Baba M. Aikou T. Natsugoe S. Kusano C. Shimada M. Nakano S. Fukumoto T. Yoshinaka H.
First Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Japan.
To clarify the quality of life of patients who underwent esophagectomy for carcinoma by right thoracotomy, laparotomy and cervical anastomosis, 116 patients who were cancer free at the time of mailing a questionnaire were analyzed. A significant decrease in vital capacity for 3 years postoperatively, as well as in the percentage of ideal body weight, between 3 and 5 years were observed in 57 patients with three-field lymphadenectomy. Patients' quality of life undergoing three-field dissection was worse than those with less radical lymphadenectomy (59 cases) in terms of the performance status and difficulty in talking at 60 months or more postoperatively. Around 20% of all patients reported severe hoarseness due to permanent recurrent nerve paralysis, resulting in poor quantity of food intake at 24 months or less postoperatively and restricted daily activity and difficulty in talking at 60 months or more after the operation. When a patient suffers from vocal cord insufficiency caused by permanent paralysis of the recurrent nerve, early treatment before discharge from the hospital should be performed to improve the quality of life of such a patient.

CYFRA 21-1 as a tumor marker for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus.

Year 1998
Nakamura T. Ide H. Eguchi R. Hayashi K. Takasaki K. Watanabe S.
Department of Surgery, Institute of Gastroenterology, Tokyo Women's Medical College, Japan.
This study assessed the clinical value of CYFRA 21-1 in comparison with squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. In 112 primary cancer patients, the diagnostic sensitivity of CYFRA 21-1 (33.9%) was superior to SCC-Ag (28.6%), CEA (12.5%), and CA19-9 (6.3%). Levels of CYFRA 21-1 were closely correlated with TNM stage and wee below the cutoff value in all 21 patients with stage I disease. All 38 patients with a CYFRA 21-1 level over the cutoff value among the 80 patients who underwent esophagectomy had lymph node metastases (pN1). A correlation was found between CYFRA 21-1 levels and clinical response in serial measurements of 21 patients who received chemotherapy or chemo radiotherapy. Our findings suggest that CYFRA 21-1 is not useful for diagnosis, but that it is valuable for monitoring the efficacy of therapy.

The value of neck drain in esophageal surgery: a randomized trial.

Year 1998
Choi HK. Law S. Chu KM. Wong J.
Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong Medical Centre, Queen Mary Hospital.
The use of surgical drains in certain clean elective operations remains controversial. To evaluate the role of closed-suction drain for an esophageal anastomosis in the neck, we conducted a randomized, controlled study in 40 patients with esophageal carcinoma who underwent esophagectomy with an esophageal anastomosis in the neck, half of whom had a neck drain inserted at the end of operation. The median (range) duration of drainage was 46 hours (36 to 88 hours). The median (range) amount of drainage was 63 ml (15 to 210 ml). There was no incidence of haematoma or seroma formation in both the drained and non-drained groups. Anastomotic leakage did not occur in any patient. The benefits of closed suction neck drain could not be demonstrated. Routine use of neck drain for esophageal anastomosis in the neck is not necessary.

Strategies to reduce pulmonary complications after transhiatal esophagectomy.

Year 1998
Gillinov AM. Heitmiller RF.
Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
BACKGROUND: By eliminating a thoracotomy, transhiatal esophagectomy (THE) is purported to reduce postoperative pulmonary complications. However, data from many early series do not support this contention, documenting pulmonary complications in up to 50% of patients and pneumonia in 5%-20%. Since 1990, we have implemented a management strategy designed to maximize airway protection in the postoperative period. The purpose of this study was to determine the current incidence of pulmonary complications after transhiatal esophagectomy without thoracotomy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 1990 to 1995, 101 consecutive patients underwent THE. Surgical indications were esophageal carcinoma (90 patients) and Barrett mucosa with high-grade epithelial dysplasia (11 patients). Mean age was 60.2 +/- 1.2 years; 89 patients were male. Eighty-two patients were smokers and 26 had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Sixty-five patients were American Society of Anesthesiologists risk score 3 or 4. Postoperatively, all patients were managed according to a standardized clinical pathway that included overnight mechanical ventilation, chest physiotherapy, video pharyngo-esophagram postoperative day 6 or 7, and graduated post-esophagectomy therapeutic diet after acceptable esophagram. RESULTS: Pulmonary complications were classified as major or minor depending upon whether or not a change in therapy was required. Ten patients (10%) had 11 major pulmonary complications. These included pneumonia (3), pleural effusion requiring drainage (4), exacerbation of COPD (2), and mucus plug requiring bronchoscopy or intubation (2). Minor pulmonary complications identified by chest film were atelectasis (97), pleural effusion (85), and pneumothorax (3). Patients with major pulmonary complications were older (69.3 +/- 9.8 vs. 59.2 +/- 12.1 years, p < .02) and more likely to have COPD (70% vs. 21%, p < .005) than those with only minor complications. There were 3 operative deaths; 2 caused by pneumonia and 1 by fungal sepsis in a patient who had exacerbation of COPD. Mean hospital length of stay was 13.1 +/- 1.4 days. CONCLUSIONS: Minor pulmonary complications identified by chest film occur in nearly all patients undergoing THE. Strict adherence to a management protocol designed to maximize airway protection in the postoperative period results in a 10% incidence of major pulmonary complications. Older patient age and COPD are risk factors for major pulmonary complications after THE. Although pneumonia is uncommon, it remains the most frequent cause of death after THE.

The influence of the transposed stomach through the posterior mediastinum on the respiratory forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity in patients with resected esophageal cancer.

Year 1998
Coral RP. Constant-Neto M. Silva IS. Barros S. da Silva LC. Lau AT. DeBem AE.
Irmandade de Santa Casa de Misericordia de Porto Alegre, Hospital Sao Lucas da Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil.
Although the use of the posterior mediastinum and the stomach as a reconstruction option after esophagectomy has large acceptance all over the world, there are concerns about the potential respiratory impairment it could cause. We prospectively studied 35 patients regarding the forced expiratory volume and vital capacity. The patients were studied preoperatively and between the 45th and 60th postoperative days. The value of both parameters decreased, although they were still within normal clinical ranges. We concluded that this type of reconstruction does not harm the patients regarding the respiratory flow rates.

Foreign body impaction in the esophagus: are there underlying motor disorders?

Year 1998
Mazzadi S. Salis GB. Garcia A. Iannicillo H. Fucile V. Chiocca JC.
Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Services, Hospital Profesor A. Posadas, Presidente Illia & Marconi, Haedo, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
We observed in our practice several cases of impaction with meat boluses without bony edges, in patients with patent esophageal lumen. The aim of this study was to search for eventual underlying motor disorders which could be responsible for this impaction. We included 19 patients who attended the endoscopy service for meat bolus impaction without organic esophageal stenosis. This group was compared with 18 control volunteers. Both groups underwent UGI series, UGI endoscopy and low-compliance perfusion standard esophageal manometry. RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the impacted subjects presented marked reduction in amplitude and duration of esophageal contraction in the proximal esophagus. CONCLUSIONS: These motor disorders could be responsible for the foreign body impaction in the esophagus. However, we believe this patient group should be further studied by 24-hour esophageal manometry to reach a more accurate diagnosis by studying each patient's entire circadian cycle.

Results of surgical treatment of cervical esophageal diverticula.

Year 1998
Fraczek M. Karwowski A. Krawczyk M. Paczkowski PM. Pawlak B. Pszenny C.
Department of General Surgery & Liver Diseases, Warsaw Medical University School of Medicine, Poland.
On the basis of 20 years' experience, the authors present the immediate and long-term results of operative treatment of Zenker's diverticulum. Comparison of two methods of surgery--diverticulopexia (in 21 patients) and excision (in 16), both associated with upper esophageal sphincter myotomy--shows good immediate and long-term results (from 1 to 19 years), with disappearance of symptoms (dysphagia) in all patients. There was no perioperative mortality. Postoperative complications were most commonly of pulmonary origin and were observed in a third of patients in both groups. In two patients from the group treated with excision, a leak from the suture line occurred, which healed spontaneously. These two patients had transient dysphagia in the postoperative period. On the basis of this analysis, the authors conclude that diverticulopexia is a safer surgical procedure than excision, giving less complications and a very good long-term functional result.

Esophagocardioplasty, vagotomy-antrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastrojejunostomy: indication in cases with severe esophageal motor disfunction.

Year 1998
Braghetto I. Korn O. Csendes A. Frias JC.
Department of Surgery, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Almost 10% of patients with Crest syndrome associated with severe gastroesophageal reflux and 5-10% of patients with failed cardiomyotomy for achalasia present with cardial or distal esophageal organic stricture. Some of these cases are poor risk patients for surgery and therefore the surgeon must offer a safe procedure with low morbimortality, keeping in mind the pathophysiological motor pattern of these patients. In order to treat the stricture to improve the esophageal transit we treated patients with esophagocardioplasty associated with vagotomy-antrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastrojejunostomy, thereby avoiding the potential acid or biliary reflux in poor risk patients in whom esophagectomy would be a very deleterious procedure. All four patients had a good postoperative evolution and late control demonstrated good esophagogastric transit with no postoperative esophagitis.

Delayed traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta into the esophagus.

Year 1998
Komborozos VA. Belenis I. Malagari C. Yannopoulos P.
Second Department of Surgery, Evangelismos General Hospital, Athens, Greece.
A case of delayed rupture of the thoracic aorta into the esophagus after blunt thoracic injury is reported. It involved a hemodynamically stable 18-year-old male patient without any clinical or radiological signs to indicate aortic injury. Aortoesophageal fistula presented in the fifth post traumatic day, with a sudden dyspnea episode, intraperitoneal hemorrhage and lower gastrointestinal bleeding, due to intraperitoneal and intragastric rupture of intramural esophageal hematoma.

Pedunculated liposarcoma of the esophagus.

Year 1998
Salis GB. Albertengo JC. Bruno M. Palau G. Gonzalez Villaveiran R. Lombardo D. Villafane V. Zorraquin C. Ghigliani M.
Clinica Modelo de Moron, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Polypoid tumors of the esophagus present diagnostic and therapeutic problems. Liposarcomas are infrequent among them. We report a recent case. A 73-year-old male patient was seen in May 1995 in the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department, Clinica Modelo de Moron, with intermittent dysphagia and dyspnoea due to recurrent vomiting. A laryngeal lineal tomography showed a subglottic obstruction due to extrinsic compression. The patient was referred to the Gastroenterology Department, where an upper gastrointestinal (upper GI) series demonstrated mega-esophagus with abundant retained food. Endoscopy showed a large intraluminal mass covered by normal mucosa which arose on the posterior wall. Videofluoroscopy and chest CT diagnosed a probable polypoid lipoma due to its densitometric characteristics. The tumour was resected by left cervicotomy and left esophagotomy. The patient's progress to date is favourable. Pathology studies showed a well-differentiated liposarcoma. According to the literature, the first case was reported in 1983, and ours is only the seventh case in the world to be documented.

Tuberculosis of the esophagus.

Year 1998
Perdomo JA. Naomoto Y. Haisa M. Yamatsuji T. Kamikawa Y. Tanaka N.
First Department of Surgery, Okayama University Medical School, Japan.
We report a case of a patient with esophageal tuberculosis, a very uncommon form of extrapulmonar tuberculosis. Initially, because of constitutional symptomatology and radiological findings of mediastinal lymph node enlargement, lymphoma was considered. However, the endoscopic findings of ulcerative masses and a sinus tract revealed by esophagram were suspicious of tuberculous origin. Diagnosis was achieved after bacterial examination of smear samples from esophageal ulcers that revealed bacillus tuberculous and histological demonstration of caseating granulomas in cervical lymph nodes. Tuberculous mediastinal lymphadenitis was thought to be source of the spread to esophagus. The patient was successfully treated with a three antituberculous drugs regimen. In spite of its rarity, even in patients without risk factors, the diagnosis would be considered in the differential diagnosis of uncertain esophageal lesions.

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