Role of Barium Swallow in Diagnosing Clinically Significant Anastomotic Leak following Esophagectomy

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mohammad Bashir (Creator)
Peter J. Gruber (Creator)
Mark D. Iannettoni (Creator)
John C. Keech (Creator)
Kalpaj R. Parekh (Creator)
Simon Roh (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Extracted text; Background Barium swallow is performed following esophagectomy to evaluate the anastomosis for detection of leaks and to assess the emptying of the gastric conduit. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of the barium swallow study in diagnosing anastomotic leaks following esophagectomy. Methods Patients who underwent esophagectomy from January 2000 to December 2013 at our institution were investigated. Barium swallow was routinely done between days 5–7 to detect a leak. These results were compared to clinically determined leaks (defined by neck wound infection requiring jejunal feeds and or parenteral nutrition) during the postoperative period. The sensitivity and specificity of barium swallow in diagnosing clinically significant anastomotic leaks was determined. Results A total of 395 esophagectomies were performed (mean age, 62.2 years). The indications for the esophagectomy were as follows: malignancy (n=320), high-grade dysplasia (n=14), perforation (n=27), benign stricture (n=7), achalasia (n=16), and other (n=11). A variety of techniques were used including transhiatal (n=351), McKeown (n=35), and Ivor Lewis (n=9) esophagectomies. Operative mortality was 2.8% (n=11). Three hundred and sixty-eight patients (93%) underwent barium swallow study after esophagectomy. Clinically significant anastomotic leak was identified in 36 patients (9.8%). Barium swallow was able to detect only 13/36 clinically significant leaks. The sensitivity of the swallow in diagnosing a leak was 36% and specificity was 97%. The positive and negative predictive values of barium swallow study in detecting leaks were 59% and 93%, respectively. Conclusion Barium swallow is an insensitive but specific test for detecting leaks at the cervical anastomotic site after esophagectomy.

Additional Information

The Korean Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; 49:2 p. 99-106
Language: English
Date: 2016
Esophagectomy, Anastomotic leak, Esophagus, Barium

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