ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 45-48

Dysphagia Aortica: Diagnostic Dilemma and Therapeutic Paradigm


1 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
2 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anaesthesia, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
3 Department of Imaging Sciences and Interventional Radiology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Madathipat Unnikrishnan
Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-0820.183649

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Objective: Intrinsic esophageal pathologies constitute prime cause for dysphagia clinically. However, thoracic esophageal domain is prone to extrinsic compression by various vascular afflictions including aneurysms with attendant therapeutic challenges. Herein, we present a case series of dysphagia aortica with emphasis on its appropriate management option based on grade of dysphagia. Methods: Patients who presented to the vascular division of our tertiary care referral institute between January 2014 and October 2015 with dysphagia due to extrinsic esophageal compression by aneurysmal thoracic aorta form the basis for this report. Prior to referral, all patients were evaluated elsewhere to rule out intrinsic causes and computed tomography angiogram performed delineating aortic aneurysm in four patients and penetrating aortic ulcer in one. Patient cohort included one female and four male patients whose age ranged from 40 to 68 years, with a median of 62 years. Left posterolateral thoracotomy provided access to an aneurysm which was repaired using interposition polyester graft in four patients. Due to severe comorbidities which precluded open surgery, one patient who presented with mild dysphagia was managed by endovascular stent graft repair. Results: Degree of dysphagia was assessed between grades 0 and 4 as in literature. All patients, including four open conventional and one endovascular, recovered well and left hospital totally symptom free. Conclusion: Dysphagia due to vascular diseases in the thoracic domain is an uncommon clinical entity. Patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm presenting with severe dysphagia deserve open surgical repair to provide optimal symptomatic relief in addition to saving life. The state-of-the-art endovascular stent grafting may be considered in very elderly patient having severe comorbidities presenting with mild dysphagia.


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