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September 29, 1962

Meat Impaction in the Esophagus Treated by Enzymatic Digestion

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla.

JAMA. 1962;181(13):1142-1143. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050390044012e

OBSTRUCTION OF THE DISTAL ESOPHAGUS by impacted meat must be considered in the differential diagnosis of any patient presenting with the sudden onset of dysphagia. The individual is usually elderly and most often has an inadequate masticatory apparatus due to ill-fitting dentures. Although endoscopie evaluation and removal of the foreign body is frequently necessary, treatment by enzymatic digestion is of value and should be given consideration as a primary approach. Three cases have recently been encountered in which this technique proved most successful.

Report of Cases

Case 1.—An 81-year-old female was seen on Jan. 11, 1962, complaining of tbe sudden onset of dysphagia occurring 48 hours previously, while eating meatballs. Subsequently, she noted substernal distress and rgurgitation when she attempted to eat or drink. Medical history revealed the occurrence ot frequent episodes oi diffuse substernal pain, usually caused by nervousness, which had been diagnosed as esophageal spasm by another physician.