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October 27, 1888


JAMA. 1888;XI(17):599-600. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400690023005

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Hysterical Spasm of the Œsophagus.  Borgiotti records an interesting case of a woman, aged 31, who, having had four attacks of hysterical convulsions, was taken with spasmodic dysphagia at the end of a fever that lasted two months; in addition to the dysphagia was pyrexia, frontal headache, severe pains behind the sternum. At each attempt to swallow, all food was rejected. This œsophageal spasm continued without interruption for 530 days. Occasionally it could be overcome by means of a sound, but it rarely permitted the passage of even fluid food. The part of the œsophagus affected corresponded with the dorsal spine from the fourth to the seventh cervical vertebra; at this point the passage of the sound caused pain. The spasm was finally cured by means of Verneuil's œsophageal dilator. After the first dilatation fluid food could be introduced by means of the sound. On the sixth day the

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