OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to investigate the incidence of esophageal complications associated with balloon dilation and their management in patients with malignant esophageal strictures. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Fluoroscopically guided esophageal balloon dilation was performed in 89 patients with malignant esophageal strictures during a period of 15 years. Inclusion criteria were patients with unresected esophageal or gastric carcinoma showing short-segment stricture (≤ 4 cm) at the esophagogastric junction; patients who had previously received chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both to manage malignant strictures; or patients who were scheduled for chemotherapy or radiation therapy to manage malignant strictures. Of these patients, 72 had esophageal cancer and 17 had stomach cancer. Esophageal rupture was categorized as intramural, transmural, or transmural with mediastinal leakage. RESULTS. A total of 120 procedures were performed, with each patient undergoing one to four procedures. Esophageal rupture occurred in 13 patients (15%): eight with intramural rupture, four with transmural rupture, and one with transmural rupture with mediastinal leakage. Improvements in dysphagia score were observed in 76 of 89 patients (85%) after balloon dilation. All esophageal ruptures were detected immediately after the procedure. Intramural and transmural ruptures were treated conservatively, whereas transmural rupture with mediastinal leakage was treated by temporary stent placement. CONCLUSION. The overall prevalence of esophageal rupture was 15%. All intramural and transmural ruptures were successfully managed conservatively, whereas transmural rupture with mediastinal leakage was treated by temporary stent placement. We found no relationship between rupture incidence and balloon diameter.
- Balloon dilation
- Esophageal rupture
- Malignant esophageal strictures
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging