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Article
September 1952

CHEMICAL BURNS AND STRICTURES OF THE ESOPHAGUS

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1952;56(3):262-276. doi:10.1001/archotol.1952.00710020282005
Abstract

AS ALONZO TAYLOR once aptly said, "There are in the body duplicate plants or factories for chemical digestion, but only one muscular tube for the transport of material between the plants. Naturally, when function in this tube breaks down, or when the current is slowed or reversed, there is trouble and the owner of the tube is promptly apprised that something unpleasant and even dangerous is going on."

This classic statement quoted by Walter C. Alvarez1 applies as cogently to conditions in the esophagus as to conditions elsewhere in the alimentary canal. In no other region does obstruction manifest itself more promptly or more distressingly to the patient. Such obstruction is commonly caused by a burn following the ingestion of a corrosive chemical. The current in the esophagus is interrupted primarily by the acute inflammatory reaction and swelling in the tissues. Subsequently, the potential development of a cicatricial stenosis

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