Gastropericardial Fistula and Candida albicans Pericarditis: A Rare Complication of Gastric Adenocarcinoma Treated with Radiation and Chemotherapy

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Abstract

Gastropericardial fistula is generally associated with benign gastric diseases and is an uncommon complication of gastric adenocarcinoma. Pericarditis and cardiac tamponade are the ultimate outcome, with extremely high mortality rates. We report a 47-year-old man with gastric adenocarcinoma who had completed radiotherapy and was on scheduled chemotherapy, who presented with fever and chest pain. Gastric adenocarcinoma complicated with gastropericardial fistula and Candida albicans pericarditis were diagnosed and treated successfully with conservative management. Initial chest radiography and computed tomography (CT) revealed no evident pericardial air or fluid. However, follow-up panendoscopy 2 weeks later revealed a malignant ulcer with a fistula opening over the lesser curvature of the high body of the stomach. Subsequent chest radiography and CT revealed pneumopericardium with fluid accumulation. Emergent CT-guided pericardial drainage was performed. The fluid was positive for Candida albicans. Total parenteral nutrition and antifungal therapy were administered. The patient refused surgical intervention and survived with medical management alone. This case demonstrates that first, panendoscopy may be safely performed in patients with gastropericardial fistula without significant risk of cardiac tamponade; second, although early diagnosis of gastropericardial fistula is generally important, delayed recognition may not lead to devastating outcomes even in the absence of surgical intervention. © 2009 Elsevier.

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Tang, C. P., Wang, Y. W., Shiau, Y. T., Lee, R. C., Lan, K. H., & Chao, Y. (2009). Gastropericardial Fistula and Candida albicans Pericarditis: A Rare Complication of Gastric Adenocarcinoma Treated with Radiation and Chemotherapy. Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, 72(7), 374–378. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1726-4901(09)70390-9

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