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February 1959

Management of Dysphagia Due to Retained Meat in the Esophagus

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;69(2):151-154. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730030157004

In the past four years four cases of dysphagia caused by lodging of large particles in the esophagus have been encountered. Another case with a fatal outcome, due to complications of the treatment used, was observed in this hospital and deserves comment. Since this entity is not a well-known one, and since there are simple harmless methods of treatment, it was deemed appropriate to record our observations.

The cases were primarily, but not invariably, in elderly patients with edentia or dentures. Onset of symptoms was usually noted immediately while eating some form of meat. In this group of patients, roast beef, chicken, turkey, and "hot dogs" were the offending agents. The patients noted onset of choking, chest pain, or dysphagia immediately on swallowing the meat, which apparently became lodged in the esophagus. In the four patients personally managed, two of the patients thought they had swallowed too big a piece