Delayed presentation of a traumatic descending thoracic aorta aneurysm as an aorto-oesophageal fistula

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External organisations

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre


Aorto-oesophageal fistula is a rarely described but life-threatening complication presenting with upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage. We present a case of a 58-year-old gentleman who presented to a peripheral hospital with a short duration of haematemesis and melaena and recent onset symptoms of dysphagia. This gentleman had a past medical history of alcohol excess and a history of trauma following a road traffic accident 38 years ago. Initial computer tomography scan demonstrated a large saccular aneurysm arising from the descending thoracic aorta adjacent to the oesophagus. The patient underwent radiological stenting of the large aneurysm with thoracic endovascular aortic replacement procedure. Follow-up computerized tomography (CT) angiography demonstrated satisfactory appearances of the thoracic aortic stent graft with no evidence of endo-leak. The triad of dysphagia, occult gastrointestinal blood loss and CT findings of a large aneurysm should prompt diagnosis or aorto-oesophageal fistula until proven otherwise.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberrjaa135
JournalJournal of Surgical Case Reports
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2020