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September 1990

Cellulose Fiber Diet Pills: A New Cause of Esophageal Obstruction

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(9):1091. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870090107020

• Cellulose fiber diet pills have recently become a popular form of weight control. In the past 2 months, we have seen two patients in whom ingestion of these pills has resulted in complete distal esophageal obstruction. Further studies revealed that each patient had a previously undiagnosed anatomical abnormality of the distal esophagus; in one case a Schatzki's ring, and in the other a stricture probably secondary to chronic reflux. We conclude that patients with known esophageal narrowing, or with a history of reflux and/or dysphagia, should use cellulose fiber diet pills only with extreme caution.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;1 16:1091)

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