Risk Factors for Development of Benign Cervical Strictures After Esophagectomy

Marilene Heijl, JA Gooszen, P Fockens, OR Busch, Jan van Lanschot, MIV Henegouwen

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119 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify independent risk factors for development of benign cervical anastomotic strictures in general and specifically for refractory strictures after esophagectomy in a large series of patients. Summary Background Data: Benign strictures develop frequently when a cervical anastomosis is performed after esophagectomy, causing burdensome symptoms and poor quality of life. Methods: From 1996 to 2006, all patients in the Academic Medical Center prospective database undergoing esophagectomy with a cervical anastomosis were included. Stricture was defined as dysphagia requiring endoscopic dilation of the anastomosis. Prediction of stricture was assessed using uni- and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Evaluation of risk factors was also performed for refractory strictures (>2 times the median number of dilations in all patients with stricture) in a similar fashion. Results: A total of 607 patients underwent potentially curative esophagectomy, with an in-hospital mortality of 2.5%. During follow-up, 253 (41.7%) patients developed a stricture after a median time of 74 days, requiring a median number of 5 dilations. Cardiovascular disease (P = 0.002), gastric tube compared with colonic interposition (P = 0.03), and anastomotic leakage (P = 0.002) were predictive for development of stricture in multivariate analysis. Development of stricture within 90 days after surgery (P = 0.001), chemoradiotherapy (P = 0.02), and anastomotic leakage (P = 0.03) were independent predictors for refractory strictures requiring over 10 dilations. Conclusions: The benign cervical stricture rate after esophagectomy was relatively high. Cardiovascular disease, gastric tube compared with colonic interposition and postoperative anastomotic leakage were independent predictors for development of benign anastomotic stricture. Anastomotic leakage, chemoradiotherapy and early development of stricture were independently associated with the development of refractory strictures, requiring a higher number of dilations. Prevention of anastomotic stricture formation should be focused on prevention of anastomotic leakage.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1064-1069
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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