Skip to main content Accessibility help

Spontaneous perforation of cervical oesophagus: a rare variant of Boerhaave's syndrome

  • S Mittal (a1), A Rohatgi (a1), R P Sutcliffe (a1) and A Botha (a1)



A 29-year-old man presented with sudden onset of severe pain in his throat, difficulty breathing and a hoarse voice, following an episode of vomiting.


Initial laboratory tests were normal. The patient underwent fibre-optic nasendoscopy, which demonstrated a haematoma in the piriform fossa. Lateral neck radiography and subsequent computed tomography scanning confirmed a 2 cm, loculated, gas-containing collection at the level of the vallecula in the right posterolateral wall, extending to the false vocal folds and communicating between the right parapharyngeal space and the right carotid sheath. Water-soluble contrast swallow confirmed the diagnosis.


Contained oesophageal perforation.


Conservative treatment was adopted involving nil orally, intravenous antibiotics and nasogastric feeding. The patient made an uneventful recovery.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Shruti Mittal, 6 Waterloo Mansions, 59 Webber Street, London SE1 0RD, UK. E-mail:


Hide All
1Khan, A, Strauss, D, Mason, R. Boerhaave's syndrome: diagnosis and surgical management. The Surgeon 2007;5:3944
2Beggs, D, Morgan, W. Spontaneous oesophageal perforation associated with oesophageal web. J Laryngol Otol 1989;109:537–8
3Das, A, Sivak, M, Chak, A. Cervical oesophageal perforation during EUS: a national survey. Gastrointest Endosc 2001;53:599602
4Ku, P, Tong, M, Ho, K, Kwan, A, Hasselt, C. Traumatic esophageal perforation resulting from endotracheal intubation. Anaesth Analg 1998;87:730–1
5Sahjpaul, R. Esophageal perforation from anterior cervical screw migration. Surg Neurol 2006;68:205–10
6Kesler, P, Buzna, E. Surgical and conservative management of esophageal perforation. Chest 1981;80:158–62
7Mussack, T, Landauer, N, Ladurner, R, Schieman, U, Goetzberger, M, Burchardi, C et al. Successful treatment of cervical oesophageal perforation in Behcet's disease with drainage operation and infliximab. Am J Gastroenterol 2003;98:703–4
8Weiman, D, Walker, W, Brosnan, K, Pate, J, Fabian, T. Noniatrogenic oesophageal trauma. Ann Thorac Surg 1995;59:845–9
9Scheinin, S, Wells, P. Esophageal perforation in a sword swallower. Texas Heart Inst J 2001;28:65–8
10Vogel, S, Rout, W, Martin, T, Abbitt, P. Esophageal perforation in adults: aggressive, conservative treatment lowers morbidity and mortality. Ann Surg 2005;241:1016–23


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Spontaneous perforation of cervical oesophagus: a rare variant of Boerhaave's syndrome

  • S Mittal (a1), A Rohatgi (a1), R P Sutcliffe (a1) and A Botha (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.