Third time recurrent Boerhaave’s syndrome: a case report

Adam Zeyara, Martin Jeremiasen, Oscar Åkesson, Dan Falkenback, Michael Hermansson, Jan Johansson

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Background: Effort rupture of the esophagus or Boerhaave’s syndrome is a rare entity, and prognosis is largely dependent on early diagnosis and treatment. Recurrent effort ruptures are very rare, only reported in a few case reports in English literature. We present a case with a third time effort rupture, and to the best of our knowledge there are no such previous publications. Furthermore, the presented case is also distinct because each episode was treated by different methods, reflecting the pathophysiology of recurrent disease as well as the last decade’s advancements in the management of esophageal perforations in our clinic and globally. Case presentation: The patient is a 60-year-old White male, suffering from alcohol abuse, mild reflux esophagitis, and a history of effort esophageal ruptures on two previous occasions. He was now admitted to our ward once again because of a third bout of Boerhaave’s syndrome. The first time, 10 years ago, he was managed by thoracotomy and laparotomy with primary repair, and the second time, 5 years ago, by transhiatal mediastinal drainage through a laparotomy and endoscopic stent placement. Now he was successfully managed by endovascular vacuum-assisted closure therapy alone. Conclusions: Recurrent cases of Boerhaave’s syndrome are very rare, and treatment must be tailored individually. The basic rationale is, however, no different from primary disease: (1) early diagnosis, (2) adequate drainage of extraesophageal contamination, and (3) restoration of esophageal integrity. Recurrent disease is usually contained and exceptionally suitable for primary endoscopic treatment. To cover the full panorama and difficult nature of complex esophageal disease, endoscopic modalities such as stent placement and endovascular vacuum-assisted closure, as well as the capacity for prompt extensive surgical interventions such as esophagectomy, should be readily accessible within every modern esophageal center.

Original languageEnglish
Article number223
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery

Free keywords

  • Boerhaave’s syndrome
  • Effort esophageal rupture
  • EVAC
  • Recurrent
  • Stent
  • Third


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