Full-thickness esophageal perforation after fluoroscopic balloon dilation: incidence and management in 820 adult patients.
Purpose: To assess the efficacy of balloon dilation combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy for palliation of dysphagia due to malignant esophagogastric junction strictures. Methods: Fluoroscopically guided balloon dilation was attempted in 20 patients. The causes of strictures were gastric adenocarcinoma (n = 10) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (n = 10). Scheduled chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy followed balloon dilation in all patients. Results: There were no technical failures or major complications. After balloon dilation, 15 (75%) patients showed improvement of dysphagia. No patient complained of reflux esophagitis during the follow-up period. Among the 15 patients, seven needed no further treatment for palliation of dysphagia until their deaths. The remaining eight patients underwent repeat balloon dilation (n = 4) or stent placement (n = 4) 3–43 weeks (mean 15 weeks) after the initial balloon dilation because of recurrent dysphagia. Conclusion: Balloon dilation combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy seems to be an easy and reasonably effective palliative treatment for malignant esophagogastric strictures.