Esophageal-pleural fistula

An esophageal-pleural fistula refers to an abnormal connection between the esophagus and pleura


They can arise from a number of underlying pathologies which can result in an esophageal rupture 3:

  • post surgical
  • endoscopic procedures
    • post esophageal dilatation
  • secondary to a tumor, e.g. esophageal carcinoma
  • esophageal tuberculosis 6 
  • from chemical injury following ingestion of corrosive substances
  • from irradiation

Radiographic features


Thoracic CT with esophageal (oral) contrast may show a direct communication with the pleural space. Air in the pleural space +/- hydropneumothorax in correct clinical setting may also be useful in the diagnosis.

Oesophageal pathology

Article information

rID: 26164
System: Chest
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Oesophagopleural fistulation
  • Oesophago-pleural fistula
  • Oesophago-pleural fistulation
  • Esophagopleural fistula
  • Esophago-pleural fistula
  • Pleuro-oesophageal fistula
  • Oesophageal-pleural fistulation

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: spontaneous
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