Spasm of the esophagus has been recognized clinically since the early part of the nineteenth century. The term cardiospasm was first used in 1882 by Mikulicz in describing obstructions which he considered to be due to a simple spasm at the cardiac orifice. Today cardiospasm is looked on as a condition which results from a spasm of the lower end of the esophagus—not of the cardiac opening but of the cardiac sphincter. Achalasia, which means absence of relaxation, is a term used by some to replace cardiospasm and obviate any etiologic designation. A review of the literature brings out the fact that there is no complete agreement as to the cause of the dilatation of the esophagus.
It was originally intended to report the findings in one patient who had been under my observation and who died of cardiospasm. It was felt that this would be of interest since so
MACCREADY PB. CARDIOSPASM: REPORT OF TWO CASES WITH POSTMORTEM OBSERVATIONS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1935;21(6):633–647. doi:10.1001/archotol.1935.00640020648001
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