Research: Surgical Repair of a Traumatic Gastrobronchial Fistula

Am J Case Rep

. 2022 Dec 12;23:e938506.

 doi: 10.12659/AJCR.938506.

Surgical Repair of a Traumatic Gastrobronchial Fistula

Sven C Schmidt 1 2Julia Möller 1 2Hartwig Schütte 3Robert Matz 4Bert Matthees 5Frank Marusch 1 2

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BACKGROUND Gastrobronchial fistulas mostly occur as a result of postoperative complications, including those of bariatric, esophageal, and spleno-pancreatic surgery. Other causes are pneumonia, neoplasm, gastric ulcer, and subphrenic abscess. Traumatic fistulous communications between the stomach and the lung tissue are rare, with only 8 cases reported in the English-language literature (PubMed search) until now. CASE REPORT We report a 49-year-old female patient with a gastrobronchial fistula secondary to diaphragm rupture 7 years prior, with intrathoracic herniation of the gastric fundus. She underwent thoracotomy for surgical repair. She presented in our Emergency Department with recurrent hemoptysis and painful cough. The diagnosis of the gastrobronchial fistula was confirmed by computed tomography and simultaneous bronchoscopy and esophagogastroscopy, with injection of toluidine blue. As a multidisciplinary team, we opted for surgical repair owing to the fistula extent and severity and the need of repair of the diaphragm hernia. The patient underwent left-sided thoracoscopy. However, owing to dense adhesions and chronic inflammation, we converted to an open procedure. The herniated gastric fundus was repaired by wedge resection. The affected lung tissue was debrided and reconstructed by suture repair. The diaphragmatic defect was closed by sutures with mesh augmentation. The patient’s postoperative course was uncomplicated, and she was discharged in good clinical condition on postoperative day 7. CONCLUSIONS Owing to the scarcity of the disease, the management of a gastrobronchial fistula is not standardized. The establishment of the diagnosis of the disease is often challenging. Therapeutic options include conservative measures, endoscopic options, and surgical repair. Our case showed that a multidisciplinary workup is essential for successful treatment.

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