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13 November 2023 : Case report  China (mainland)

[In Press] Successful Treatment of Fishbone-Induced Esophageal Perforation and Mediastinal Abscess: A Case Report and Literature Review

Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Rare disease

Shili Zhong1ABCE, Zhengbin Wu1AE, Zheng Wang1CE

Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI:   :: ID: 942056

Available online: 2023-11-13, 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


Fish bone ingestion is the most common cause of esophageal perforation (12%). However, it rarely causes esophageal perforation and mediastinal abscess. Most studies recommend surgical intervention for patients with esophageal perforation and thoracic abscess. However, surgery may not be suitable for extremely critical cases or may have limited effectiveness. In such cases, a combination of surgery and conservative treatment is crucial. The use of double cannula irrigation and drainage in conservative treatment has shown promising results in pus removal.
We report a 28-year-old man with a perforated esophagus with abscess and mediastinal abscess due to fish bone. Emergency surgery was performed after admission. Symptoms of septic shock developed after surgery, and a significant amount of pus was still present in the chest cavity and mediastinum. Conservative treatment was adopted, with double cannula irrigation and drainage. By employing anti-infection measures and continuous irrigation and drainage, the patient was cured after 42 days.
In this case, surgical intervention did not yield satisfactory results. However, after using double cannula irrigation and drainage to clear the thoracic and mediastinal abscesses, the patient’s infection levels returned to normal. Additionally, the patient was successfully weaned off the ventilator, and the tracheotomy catheter was removed. After discharge, the patient resumed to normal life, without any significant complications during 1 year of follow-up. Double cannula drainage played a vital role in this patient’s treatment; however, further clinical evidence is required to determine its suitability for other patients with esophageal perforation complicated by mediastinal abscess.

Keywords: Esophageal Perforation; Debridement; Drainage; Mediastinal Diseases

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