THE SYMPTOMS of esophageal carcinoma, dysphagia, weight loss, and substernal pain, are well known. Hemorrhage as a presenting complaint is not usually considered. There is little evidence that early diagnosis has any bearing on improving the prognosis of esophageal malignancy1 although such a contention seems reasonable. Not recognizing hemorrhage as a possible symptom may result in delayed diagnosis.
At the Marquette University affiliated hospitals, a review of 139 cases of carcinoma of the esophagus between January 1958 and March of 1964 disclosed nine with a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, six of a serious degree. The magnitude of the hemorrhage from these six cases can be seen in the Table.
The esophageal lesions were initially diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma but one has subsequently been reclassified post mortem as an adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus or gastric cardia. All lesions were in the distal one third of the esophagus except one. Three
CAREY LC, DARIN JC, WORMAN LW, WAGNER KJ. Upper Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage From Carcinoma of EsophagusA Report of Six Cases. Arch Surg. 1965;90(4):460-464. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320100004002