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23 November 2022 : Case report  Germany

[In Press] Surgical Repair of a Traumatic Gastrobronchial Fistula

Challenging differential diagnosis, Rare disease

Sven C. Schmidt12ADEF, Julia Möller12BEF, Hartwig Schütte3BE, Robert Matz4BF, Bert Matthees5B, Frank Marusch12AEF

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.938506

Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.938506  

Available online: 2022-11-23, In Press, Corrected Proof

Publication in the "In-Press" formula aims at speeding up the public availability of the pending manuscript while waiting for the final publication. The assigned DOI number is active and citable. The availability of the article in the Medline, PubMed and PMC databases as well as Web of Science will be obtained after the final publication according to the journal schedule


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.
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.
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.

Keywords: Bronchial Fistula; Gastric Fistula


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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923