Esophageal graft-versus-host disease

February 25, 2013     Jeanne L. Hatcher, MD; S. Carter Wright, MD; Catherine Rees Lintzenich, MD, FACS

Graft-versus-host disease occurs after allogeneic hematopoietic-cell transplantation, with the chronic form usually occurring within the first 3 years.

Massive Zenker diverticulum

August 10, 2012     Jonathan M. Bock, MD; John J. Petronovich, BS; Joel H. Blumin, MD

Zenker diverticula rarely extend deep into the chest and induce severe dysphagia and aspiration pneumonia. In fact, only rare cases have been reported in the literature that exhibit such significant extension into the mediastinum.

Killian-Jamieson diverticulum

April 30, 2012     Ashli K. O'Rourke, MD; Paul M. Weinberger, MD; Gregory N. Postma, MD

Killian-Jamieson diverticulum is generally smaller than Zenker diverticulum and is associated with less dysphagia, regurgitation, and gastroesophageal reflux.

Dilated esophagus and tracheal compression secondary to a slipped Nissen fundoplication: A case report

January 25, 2012     Roy Rajan, MD and Jerome W. Thompson, MD


We describe the case of a 20-month-old girl with a gastrostomy tube who presented with stridor, daily emesis, stertor, and mild neck retractions. Endoscopic and radiologic investigations revealed a dilated esophagus, an associated tracheal compression, and a paraesophageal hernia secondary to a slipped Nissen fundoplication. The patient underwent a revision fundoplication, and her stridor, stertor, and neck retractions subsided significantly. She tolerated tube feeding without emesis and was discharged home. We recommend a careful evaluation of fundoplication in patients who have undergone the procedure who present with stridor and frequent emesis. Esophageal dilation and associated tracheal compression should be considered in the differential diagnosis, and in such a case, revision of the gastric wrap should alleviate the problem.

Esophageal spasm

November 22, 2011     Ashli K. O'Rourke, MD, Paul M. Weinberger, MD, and Gregory N. Postma, MD

Giant esophageal inlet patch

August 15, 2011     Michele P. Morrison, DO and Gregory N. Postma, MD

Bilateral tonsillar and esophageal Kaposi sarcoma in an HIV-negative patient

July 13, 2011     Irem Hicran Ozbudak, MD, Kenan Guney, MD, Derya Mutlu, MD, Tekinalp Gelen, MD, and Gulay Ozbilim, MD


Tonsillar involvement in Kaposi sarcoma is extremely rare, as only a few such cases have been reported; all but 1 of these previously reported cases occurred in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We describe what to the best of our knowledge is the first reported case of concurrent bilateral tonsillar and esophageal Kaposi sarcoma in an HIV-negative patient. A 68-year-old man presented with sore throat and dysphagia. Clinical examination revealed the presence of bilateral and asymmetrical tonsillar masses, as well as generalized lymphadenopathy in the cervical chain. The masses were resected, and findings on histopathologic analysis were consistent with Kaposi sarcoma. In addition, human herpesvirus 8 was demonstrated on a tonsil specimen by polymerase chain reaction, and microinvasive squamous cell carcinoma was also detected. Later, another Kaposi sarcoma lesion was detected in the lower third of the esophagus. We recommend that clinicians not discount the possibility of oral classic Kaposi sarcoma in the workup of an immunocompetent patient with oral vascular lesions.

Ballpoint pen ingestion in a 2-year-old child

July 13, 2011     Anaïs Rameau, MD, CM, MSc, Sumeet M. Anand, MD, and Lily H.P. Nguyen, MD, CM, MSc, FRCS(C)


A 2-year-old girl ingested a ballpoint pen, which was found on chest x-ray to have lodged in the lower esophagus and stomach. The pen, which measured nearly 15 cm in length, was removed via rigid esophagoscopy without complication. To the best of our knowledge, this is the longest nonflexible foreign body ingested by a young child ever reported in the English-language literature. We describe the presentation of this case and the current guidelines for safety as enumerated in the Small Parts Regulations established by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission


April 30, 2011     Michele P. Morrison, DO, Paul M. Weinberger, MD, and Gregory N. Postma, MD

Cervical esophageal perforation and cricopharyngeal dysfunction

March 1, 2011     W. Brian Helton, MD, Raman Unnikrishnan, MD, and Thomas Gal, MD, MPH


Spontaneous perforation of the esophagus is an uncommon event; when it does occur, it usually affects the thoracic esophagus. We present a rare and fatal case of spontaneous perforation of the cervical esophagus in a 68-year-old woman. We believe this rupture was related to a proximal outlet obstruction secondary to cricopharyngeal muscle dysfunction.

Delayed pharyngoesophageal reconstruction with combined local and regional flaps: A case report

March 1, 2011     Fábio Roberto Pinto, MD, PhD and Jossi Ledo Kanda, MD, PhD


We describe an unusual technique for performing delayed pharyngoesophageal reconstruction following circumferential pharyngolaryngectomy. The patient was a 52-year-old man who underwent a circumferential pharyngolaryngectomy for the treatment of hypopharyngeal carcinoma. In view of the patient's poor clinical status, we opted to perform a pharyngostomy and an esophagostomy and to postpone pharyngoesophageal reconstruction for a more appropriate occasion. After the patient's clinical condition had sufficiently improved, the repair was planned. Microsurgical flaps were contraindicated because the blood flow through the cervical vessels was unreliable. Pharyngoesophageal continuity was restored with a cervical flap vascularized by the prevertebral fascia, a pectoralis major myocutaneous flap, and a deltopectoralis flap. A reasonable degree of deglutition was achieved, and no signs of stricture were detected. Although our technique was unusual, we believed that it might provide a valid alternative when a delayed pharyngoesophageal reconstruction is required and free flaps are contraindicated for any reason.

Hypopharyngeal diverticulum formation following anterior discectomy and fusion: Case series

October 31, 2010     Terah J. Allis, MD, Nazaneen N. Grant, MD, and Bruce J. Davidson


Pharyngoesophageal diverticulum is a rare complication following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Dysphagia is a well-documented complication associated with ACDF. It may result postoperatively from a variety of etiologies, including hardware displacement, pharyngeal edema, or vocal fold paresis. One rare cause of persistent dysphagia is the formation of a hypopharyngeal diverticulum, reported in the literature in 9 previous cases. Such diverticula after ACDF surgery may have pathogenesis that is distinct from that of typical Zenker diverticula. We report 3 new cases of hypopharyngeal diverticula in patients who underwent revision ACDFs. Variables assessed included age, sex, level of fusion, ACDF-related complications, and diverticulum management. Two patients underwent successful open surgical diverticulectomy and cricopharyngeal myotomy. In the third case, the patient had a small diverticulum close to the surgical hardware and minimal symptoms and was managed conservatively. Our cases, combined with the 9 previous cases, demonstrate commonalities, particularly with regard to the risk of revision spinal surgery and infection and subsequent hypopharyngeal diverticula development. Hypopharyngeal diverticulum can occur as a complication of ACDF and should be considered in patients with persistent dysphagia after surgery. In this patient population, open resection and cricopharyngeal myotomy are recommended.

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