Primary aortogastric fistula following Nissen fundoplication: A case report


INTRODUCTION: Aortoenteric fistula (AEF) is a rare condition and consists of an abnormal communication between the aorta and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The duodenum is the most common location. Fistulas involving the stomach are very uncommon and account for only 2% of the cases. AEF typically results in rapid and fatal exsanguination as diagnosis is frequently missed or made too late (Bixby et al., 2018; Kougias et al., 2003; Lookman, 1959; Genc et al., 2000; Ong et al., 2019; Li et al., 2020).

PRESENTATION OF CASE: A 59 years old female with a history of Nissen fundoplication presented with lower gastrointestinal bleeding. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) showed a large blood clot in the gastric fundus with no visible source of active bleeding. A mesenteric angiogram, performed for persistent gastro-intestinal bleeding and following two episodes of cardiac arrest, showed no evidence of active bleeding. The left gastric artery was prophylactically embolized. Persistent hemorrhage prompted an exploratory laparotomy followed by a left thoracotomy and confirmed the diagnosis of an aortogastric fistula (AGF). The patient expired intra-operatively.

DISCUSSION: AGF is a very rare but often fatal condition (Busuttil and Goldstone, 2001). Computerized tomography angiography (CTA) can be a key to the diagnosis (Raman et al., 2012). EGD and catheter angiography have low sensitivity (Kuhara et al., 2015; Manduch et al., 2008). Definitive diagnosis is usually made during surgical exploration or autopsy (Wasvary et al., 1997). While open surgical repair is considered the gold standard therapy, endovascular therapy is becoming the preferred initial treatment option (Bixby et al., 2018).

CONCLUSION: AGF should be considered in the differential diagnosis of GI bleeding, especially in patients with massive hemorrhage where EGD and mesenteric angiography are not diagnostic.

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Case Report

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