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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25

Boerhaave syndrome

Ronak Endo-laparoscopy and General Surgical Hospital, Patan, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication13-Jan-2012

Correspondence Address:
Vipul D Yagnik
77, Siddhraj Nagar, Rajmahal Road, Patan 384 265, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9941.91780

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How to cite this article:
Yagnik VD. Boerhaave syndrome. J Min Access Surg 2012;8:25

How to cite this URL:
Yagnik VD. Boerhaave syndrome. J Min Access Surg [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Aug 15];8:25. Available from:

Dear Sir,

I read an article by Vaidya et al., [1] with great interest. Boerhaave syndrome accounts for 15% of all traumatic perforation of esophagus. Esophageal perforation has the worst prognosis among all gastrointestinal tract perforation. I would like to add some interesting information which you may find useful. In addition to a sharp increase in intraluminal pressure against closed cricopharyngeus, abnormal esophageal mucosa (reflux esophagitis, Barrett's esophagitis, etc.) and lack of muscularis mucosa [2] may also predispose to perforation. In this case, water-soluble contrast showed leak in the pleural cavity. I recommend barium as a contrast agent of choice in the case of suspected lower esophageal perforation above the gastroesophageal junction as barium is inert in the chest and aspiration of gastrograffin (water-soluble contrast) can cause severe life-threatening pneumonitis. I would recommend water-soluble contrast for suspected intraabdominal esophageal perforation as barium will lead to severe barium peritonitis. The use of barium is associated with a higher detection rate for esophageal perforation. The 22% of the patients who had a normal study with water-soluble contrast, a perforation was detected subsequently with the use of barium. [3] Flexible esophagoscopy can be performed with 100% sensitivity and 80% specificity in those who require operative intervention. The authors have mentioned that urgent surgical management is indicated in all patients. [1] I would like to state here that although standard of care is surgical intervention in most cases, Cameron et al. [4] proposed three criteria in which nonoperative management might be appropriate: (1) disruption contained in the mediastinum, (2) cavity well drain back into esophagus, and (3) minimal sign and symptoms of sepsis.

 ¤ References Top

1.Vaidya S, Prabhudessai S, Jhawar N, Patankar RV. Boerhaave's syndrome: Thoracolaparoscopic approach. J Minim Access Surg 2010;6:76-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Kuwano H, Matsumata T, Adachi E, Ohno S, Matsuda H, Mori M, et al. Lack of muscularis mucosa and the occurrence of Boerhaave's syndrome. Am J Surg 1989;158:420-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Buecker Anone, Wein BBnone, Neuerburg JMnone, Guenther RWnone. Esophageal perforation: Comparison of use of aqueous and barium-containing contrast media. Radiologynone 1997;202:683-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Cameron JL, Kieffer RF, Hendrix TR, Mehigan DG, Baker RR. Selective nonoperative management of contained intrathoracic esophageal disruptions. Ann Thorac Surg 1979;27:404-8.  Back to cited text no. 4

This article has been cited by
1 Clinical features of idiopathic esophageal perforation compared with typical post-emetic type: a newly proposed subtype in Boerhaave’s syndrome
Makoto Sohda, Hiroshi Saeki, Hiroyuki Kuwano, Makoto Sakai, Akihiko Sano, Takehiko Yokobori, Tatsuya Miyazaki, Yoshihiro Kakeji, Yasushi Toh, Yuichiro Doki, Hisahiro Matsubara
Esophagus. 2021; 18(3): 663
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 A national survey on esophageal perforation: study of cases at accredited institutions by the Japanese Esophagus Society
Makoto Sohda, Hiroyuki Kuwano, Makoto Sakai, Tatsuya Miyazaki, Yoshihiro Kakeji, Yasushi Toh, Hisahiro Matsubara
Esophagus. 2020; 17(3): 230
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Outcomes following Boerhaave’ syndrome
CL Connelly, PJ Lamb, S Paterson-Brown
The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England. 2013; 95(8): 557
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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