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April 1967

Rupture of the Esophagus

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
From the Infectious Disease Division, Departments of Internal Medicine and Otolaryngology, University of Iowa and University Hospitals, Iowa City.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(4):410-415. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040412013

THE FREQUENCY of rupture of the esophagus has increased during the last two decades1,2 because of more frequent use of diagnostic and therapeutic instrumentation of the esophagus as well as the increased incidence of surgical operations on the esophagus. Infection is a complication which follows rupture and spreads rapidly and extensively since the retrovisceral space and the superior mediastinum have practically no tissue barrier.2 It has long been appreciated that rupture of the esophagus carries a high mortality rate.1-4

Materials and Methods  All records with the diagnosis of perforation of the esophagus at the University of Iowa Hospitals between 1952 and 1963 were reviewed and all 24 cases were accepted for the study. The diagnosis of rupture of the esophagus was confirmed in 13 patients by postmortem examination. Leakage of radiopaque medium from the esophagus confirmed this diagnosis in two other cases where no permission for autopsy

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