Introduction: Acute esophageal necrosis (AEN) is an uncommon but fatal cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The complex pathophysiology of the disorder provides multiple points for intervention. Therefore, it is important to discuss the many multifaceted aspects of the disease. Methods: A scoping review was performed using PubMed, Google Scholar, and ClinicalTrials.gov. We reviewed literature from 1990 to 2021. The keywords used were ‘acute esophageal necrosis’, ‘upper GI bleed’, ‘pathogenesis’, ‘EGD’, ‘prognosis’. Results and conclusions: The review summarized findings of 46 studies. AEN usually targets older males who have underlying cardiovascular disease. The middle part of the esophagus is commonly involved. The pathogenesis of AEN depends on conditions that increase risk of mucosal damage such as ischemia, lack of mucosal protection and excessive gastric reflux. Some medications are also responsible for the disease. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is usually the gold standard for diagnosis. Findings suggestive of AEN include darkened, sharply demarcated circumferential areas. Supportive measures, including bowel rest, fluid supplementation and proton pump inhibitors are the cornerstone of therapy. A high index of suspicion should be maintained in patients with chronic health problems presenting with signs and symptoms of upper gastrointestinal bleeding because AEN can carry an unfavorable prognosis in these patients.
Baker Sheikh, Abu; Mirza, Samir; Abbas, Ramsha; Javed, Nismat; Nguyen, Anthony; Hanif, Hamza; and Farooq, Asif
"Acute Esophageal Necrosis: An In-depth Review of Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Management,"
Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives: Vol. 12:
1, Article 21.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.gbmc.org/jchimp/vol12/iss1/21