5 years ago

Retrosternal Reconstruction Can be a Risk Factor for Upper Extremity Deep Vein Thrombosis After Esophagectomy

Takamasa Takahashi, Masato Nagino, Masahide Fukaya, Yayoi Sakatoku, Kazushi Miyata



Upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (UEDVT) is a rare but important complication because it can cause pulmonary embolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of UEDVT after esophagectomy and the risk factors related to UEDVT.


This study included 88 patients who underwent esophagectomy with retrosternal or posterior mediastinal reconstruction using gastric tube. The incidence of UEDVT and the diameter of left brachiocephalic vein were measured using postoperative contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT). (a) The distance from sternum to brachiocephalic artery and (b) the distance from sternum to vertebra were measured by preoperative CT, and the ratio of (a) to (b) was defined as the width of the retrosternal space.


Among the patients, 14 (15.9%) suffered from UEDVT. All UEDVTs were found in left-side upper extremity deep veins. Twelve of the 14 patients (85.7%) underwent retrosternal reconstruction. In a multivariate analysis, retrosternal reconstruction was an independent risk factor for UEDVT (odds ratio 5.48). The diameter of the left brachiocephalic vein in patients with retrosternal reconstruction was significantly smaller than that in patients with posterior mediastinal reconstruction (4.3 vs 6.9 mm; P < 0.001) due to compression of left brachiocephalic vein by the gastric tube. Among patients with retrosternal reconstruction, the width of the retrosternal space in patients with UEDVT was significantly smaller than that in patients without UEDVT (0.21 vs 0.27; P = 0.001).


Retrosternal reconstruction can be a risk factor for UEDVT. In patients with small width of the retrosternal space, retrosternal reconstruction might be inappropriate.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00268-017-4120-6

DOI: 10.1007/s00268-017-4120-6

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