Boerhaave's syndrome is the spontaneous transmural rupture of the esophagus. A high degree of clinical suspicion is a prerequisite for its prompt diagnosis, and early therapeutic intervention reduces its associated morbidity and mortality. Factors that influence the outcome are location and extent of perforation and the timing of medical or surgical treatment. Boerhaave's syndrome is the most lethal perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. Delay in intervention relates directly to increased mortality. Despite advances in surgical techniques and endoscopic therapies, this disorder still has high morbidity and mortality rates. The outcome of patients with this disorder is dependent upon the prompt and accurate diagnosis. Initial stabilization of the patient with intravenous fluids and antibiotics is of key importance, with subsequent decisive therapy initiated using either a conservative medical or endoscopic or surgical approach. Boerhaave's syndrome often occurs in otherwise-relatively healthy patients. This postemetic perforation of the esophagus can result in a devastating injury that usually is exacerbated by delayed diagnosis. This article will focus on its clinical presentations and review its potentially applicable therapies.
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