Background: The mortality rate of spontaneous esophageal rupture remains 20% to 40% due to severe respiratory failure. We have performed thoracoscopic surgery for esophageal disease at our department since 1994. Sivelestat sodium hydrate reportedly improves the pulmonary outcome in the patients with acute lung injury (ALI). Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the usefulness of thoracoscopic surgery and perioperative administration of sivelestat sodium hydrate for spontaneous esophageal rupture in 12 patients who underwent thoracoscopy at our department between 2002 and 2014. Results: The patient cohort included 11 males and one female (median age, 61 years). The lower left esophageal wall was perforated in all patients. Surgical procedures consisted of thoracoscopic suture and thoracic drainage in six patients, transhiatal suture and thoracoscopic thoracic drainage in five, and thoracoscopic esophagectomy and thoracic drainage in one. The median time from onset to surgery was 8 hours with a surgical duration of 210 minutes, blood loss 260 mL, postoperative ventilator management 1 day, intensive care unit (ICU) stay 5 days, and interval to restoration of oral ingestion 13 days. Postoperative complications included respiratory failure in four patients, pyothorax in three, and leakage in one. There was no instance of perioperative mortality. Regarding perioperative administration of sivelestat sodium hydrate, the postoperative arterial oxygen partial pressure-to-fractional inspired oxygen ratio (P/F) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the administration group were significantly better than those in the nonadministration group on postoperative days 4 (P=0.035) and 5 (P=0.037), respectively. In contrast, there was no significant difference between the groups in median time of ventilator management, ICU stay, oral ingestion following surgery, or hospital stay. Conclusions: Thoracoscopic surgery obtained acceptable results in all patients, including two with a significant time elapse from onset to treatment. Furthermore, sivelestat sodium hydrate was suggested to help improve postoperative respiration and inflammatory response.
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