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August 1956


Author Affiliations

Richmond, Va.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1956;64(2):157-158. doi:10.1001/archotol.1956.03830140073011

HYSTERICAL dysphagia, or the socalled Plummer-Vinson syndrome, is characterized by difficulty in swallowing solid foods, anemia of the hypochromic microcytic type, glossitis, fissures at the corners of the mouth, and, frequently, enlargement of the spleen.

The condition is seen in white women only and especially in those of Scandinavian ancestry. Only three patients with this condition have been observed by us in Virginia in the past 18 years, whereas in Minnesota, where the population consists of a large percentage of persons of Scandinavian descent, the syndrome is much more frequently observed. Many cases have been reported from Scandinavia, with fewer from the British Isles, and almost none from other localities.

The majority of patients are married, more than 40 years of age, and edentulous. Symptoms may have begun suddenly or gradually. Some patients date the onset of symptoms to choking on a pill or some type of solid food. After

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