In 1956, a report1 of our experience with steroid therapy of lye burns of the esophagus was published. In that report there were 10 cases of lye burns of the esophagus treated within 48 hours of the ingestion of lye, and in none of these did a stricture of the esophagus develop. There was one case that was not treated for several days after the lye burn, and this case developed a stricture that required bougienage on four occasions. The report was cautious in its advocacy of steroid therapy in lye burns because of the possibility of mediastinitis and because of other potential dangers. However, we were encouraged by the initial results, and we have continued to use this form of therapy without serious complication except for the case here reported.
The purpose of this case report is to present the gross appearance of an esophagus severely burned by