Endoscopy 2013; 45(S 02): E434
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1358924
Cases and Techniques Library (CTL)
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Sengstaken–Blakemore tube: an unusual complication

Bruno M. Gonçalves
1  Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Braga, Portugal
,
Ana C. Caetano
1  Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Braga, Portugal
2  Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
3  ICVS/3B’s – PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal
,
Dália Fernandes
1  Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Braga, Portugal
,
Armanda Cruz
1  Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Braga, Portugal
,
Pedro Bastos
1  Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Braga, Portugal
,
Carla Rolanda
1  Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Braga, Portugal
2  Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
3  ICVS/3B’s – PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
13 December 2013 (online)

Acute variceal bleeding is a life-threatening event. Endoscopic band ligation is currently the recommended treatment [1]; however, in the case of reduced variceal volume, injection therapy with polidocanol or Histoacryl may be more appropriate. If both endoscopic options fail, placement of a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube should be considered [2], although other endoscopic therapies can be used [3].

A 54-year-old man with a known history of compensated alcoholic cirrhosis presented in the emergency room with acute hematemesis. The vital signs were stable and laboratory workup showed mild anemia and thrombocytopenia. Upper endoscopy revealed a peptic esophagitis with confluent ulceration and a spurting variceal hemorrhage in the cardia. After injection of 10 ml of 1 % polidocanol, that did not control the bleeding, a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube (Cliny type 42; Create Medic Co, Yokohama, Japan) was positioned, with 250 ml of air insufflated in the gastric balloon and 80 ml in the esophageal balloon. For traction maintenance, a 500-ml bag of saline was used, as was regular practice. However, after 10 minutes part of the tube suddenly became exteriorized ([Fig. 1]). As the video demonstrates ([Video 1]) the extremity with the deflated balloon, because of spontaneous transection 3 cm proximally to the balloon insertion, was still in place. It was decided to remove the tube with a snare. On revision there was no active bleeding, hence no treatment was carried out.

Zoom Image
Fig. 1 Transected Sengstaken–Blakemore tube compared with a complete tube (upper tube).


Quality:
Extraction of a transected Sengstaken–Blakemore tube. A deflated tube was still in place and it was removed with a snare.

The use of a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube is increasingly rare, mostly because of the high incidence of complications, such as aspiration pneumonia, airway obstruction, pressure necrosis of the mucosa, esophageal rupture, and cardiac inflow obstruction [4] [5] [6]. To our knowledge this is the first video showing the extraction of a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube that had transected probably because of a manufacturing defect. To prevent this situation a careful assessment of the tube must be made before placement. Besides the very successful resolution using a standard endoscopic extraction procedure, we emphasize the rarity of the video images of this unusual situation.

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