Fatal central venous air embolism: A rare complication of esophageal dilation by rendezvous

Philip B. Zald, Peter E. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background. Esophageal dilation by rendezvous is a useful technique for the treatment of complicated esophageal strictures. Methods and Results. We present a case of a 74-year-old man with chronic dysphagia caused by a complete cervical esophageal stricture that developed after external beam radiotherapy for treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma. During attempted dilation using the rendezvous technique, the patient suffered a fatal pulmonary air embolism. The technique of esophageal dilation by rendezvous, complications, and risk factors for development of venous air embolism are discussed. Conclusion. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report in the literature of fatal venous air embolism after dilation by rendezvous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-444
Number of pages4
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011



  • air embolism
  • dilation by rendezvous
  • esophageal dilation
  • esophageal stricture
  • gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • hypopharyngeal stricture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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