A Case of Tracheoinnominate Artery Fistula That Required 2 Operations and Which Developed a Subcutaneous Abscess 2 Years after the Operations

(Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, National Chiba Hospital, Chiba, Japan)

Toshiaki Ohto Yoshihisa Tsukagoshi Hideo Ukita
The patient was an 18-year-old man with congenital cerebral palsy who had undergone a tracheotomy at the age of 12. He underwent 2 emergency operations for massive endotracheal bleeding due to a tracheoinnominate artery fistula. At the first operation, the tracheal and tracheoinnominate artery fistulas were each closed directly, with median sternotomy. The second operation was due to recurrence of bleeding on the 20th postoperative day. The innominate artery was transected to avoid recurrence of bleeding. We only used an autologous pericardium but no artificial materials other than sutures, because of operative field contamination. Although a subcutaneous abscess developed at the operative wound 2 years after the operation, it was cured by incisional drainage and administration of antibiotics. In the case of tracheoinnominate artery fistula, it is impossible to save life without surgical treatment. However, the surgery involves a risk of repeated hemorrhaging and infections, resulting in a very poor prognosis. In our case, transection should have been performed at the first operation to avoid a recurrence of bleeding. The surgical method, using an autologous pericardium but no artificial materials, appeared to be effective in preventing infections. The surgical method should be selected with careful consideration to prevent repeated hemorrhaging and infection.
@Jpn. J. Cardiovasc. Surg. 32: 358 -361 (2003)