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Training Level

Resident PGY 2


Henry Ford Hospital


Introduction: The esophagus is a frequent site of foreign body impaction, but esophageal perforation and subsequent aortic pseudoaneurysms, and aorto-esophageal fistulas are very rare but potentially life-threatening complications. We present a case of foreign body ingestion, complicated by erosion into the aorta causing a mycotic aneurysm.

Case description: We introduce the case of a 60 year-old male with abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue and fevers. Blood cultures grew out gram-positive cocci. A CT scan revealed a distal thoracic aortic saccular aneurysm, with a 2.8 cm linear metallic body penetrating the inferior border of the aneurysm, and intraluminal thrombus formation. CT of the abdomen revealed portal vein thrombosis, splenic and hepatic abscesses. An Esophagogastroduodenoscopy was unremarkable. The patient was started on the appropriate antibiotic therapy. He was then taken to the operating room for an open thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair with an interposition cryopreserved graft, with an intercostal muscle flap. A metal bristle was removed. He had an uneventful postoperative course and was discharged home on post-operative day 17. Follow-up CTA showed resolution of the infection and satisfactory repair. Post-operative esophagram showed no esophageal injury.

Conclusion: We describe a case of a bristle from a metallic barbeque brush that was ingested. This penetrated the esophagus causing a mycotic aneurysm with septic embolization to the spleen and liver. Our successful treatment approach involved open aortic repair with an interposition cryopreserved graft, and an intercostal muscle flap.

Presentation Date


Aortic pseudoaneurysm - An unusual presentation