The first series of cases of so-called idiopathic dilatation of the esophagus was collected by von Ziemssen and Zenker in 1878. The report was based mostly on postmortem findings, little being known of the history of the cases. For our knowledge of the symptomatology of the disease we are indebted to the writings of Lichenstein, von Strumpell, Meltzer, Rumpel, Kraus, Rosenheim, Fleiner, Ewald, Netter, Kelling, Einhorn, Martin, Oppler, Gottstein, Dauber, Zausch, Strauss, Lossen, Sippey, and others.
In 1904 Mikulicz estimated that 100 cases could be collected from literature. Since that time a number of cases have been reported, notably in German literature, and by Sippey, Lerche and Erdmann in this country. Gottstein, in Keene's "Surgery," states that 140 cases have so far been reported, and himself adds 25 more. This paper is based on 40 cases which have come under my observation. Eleven cases of this series were reported in
PLUMMER HS. CARDIOSPASM, WITH A REPORT OF FORTY CASES.. JAMA. 1908;LI(7):549–554. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410070007001b