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Gastropericardial fistula: getting to the heart of the matter.

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BACKGROUND: Gastropericardial fistula is a rare life-threatening condition, being reported only 65 times in modern literature. CASE PRESENTATION: A 67 year-old man who presented with weight loss, chest pain and epigastric pain was found to have pericardial effusion and pneumopericardium on computed imaging. Endoscopy and histology confirmed a gastric adenocarcinoma within a hiatus hernia, which had fistulated to the pericardium. His condition was complicated by pulmonary emboli and lobar infarction, all contributing to rapid deterioration and death. CONCLUSION: Review of all previously published cases reveals that factors which predict poorer prognosis are older age, cancer etiology and conservative management. Conversely, protective factors include younger age at presentation, previous gastroesophageal surgery or ulcers as an etiology, and aggressive procedural and surgical management. Although the diagnosis is viewed as largely fatal by many clinicians, operative management has contributed to a statistically significant reduction in mortality from 69 % in the pre-2000 era to 11 % in the post-2000 era. This study summarizes diagnostic methods and treatment interventions and prognostication in this rare condition.



Gastric adenocarcinoma, Gastropericardial fistula, Pericarditis, Pneumopericardium, Adenocarcinoma, Aged, Fatal Outcome, Fistula, Gastric Fistula, Hernia, Hiatal, Humans, Male, Pericardium, Stomach Neoplasms

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BMC Gastroenterol

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC