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Esophageal Food Impaction

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The goal of this study is to examine the causes, type of adverse events (AE), and effects of elective intubation in outcomes associated with esophageal food impaction (EFI).


EFI is a gastrointestinal emergency requiring immediate medical attention.


Retrospective review of all EFI cases presenting at 3 large tertiary centers from October 1, 2011 to October 31, 2014 and all cases registered in the Clinical Outcome Research Initiative (CORI) database from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2012. Statistical analysis compared health care utilization, AEs, and outcomes in patients with or without elective intubation.


A total of 214 cases presenting with EFI at our 3 referral hospitals and 4950 cases in the CORI database met inclusion criteria. Prevalence of structural disorders was similar in the Mayo Clinic and CORI datasets: 24.3% and 27.7% had strictures, and 3.8% and 2.5% had a tumor, respectively. AEs in the nonintubation group were 14.7% compared with 33.3% in the elective intubation group (P=0.003); however, 71.0% of these events were associated with EFI itself and not therapeutic procedure. Esophageal AEs were common (15.0%), followed by pulmonary and cardiovascular events with 3.0% and 1.4%, respectively. Severity of the AEs was influenced by the impaction-to-endoscopy time.


Prevalence of structural esophageal disorders was similar to previous smaller studies. Elective intubation was associated with increased AEs; however, this is felt to be because of the nature of EFI itself and not by therapeutic endoscopy. Prolonged impaction-to-endoscopy time was associated with severe AEs.
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Keywords: anesthesia; esophageal food impaction; impaction treatment; upper endoscopy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Weston 2: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville 3: Gastroenterology of Greater Orlando, Orlando, FL

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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