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December 1957

Trichobezoar as an Expression of Emotional Disturbance: Report of Two Cases in Children

Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.
From the Departments of Pediatrics and Surgery of Howard University College of Medicine and the Pediatric and Surgical Services of Freedmen's Hospital.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;94(6):668-671. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.04030070080008

Trichobezoar is a relatively rare condition. About 180 cases have been reported in the medical literature over a period of 177 years.1 We are reporting two cases which were seen on our service within the relatively short period of four weeks. We would also like to emphasize the psychological aspects of the condition with respect to etiology and comprehensive treatment.

Trichobezoars are usually found in emotionally disturbed persons.2,3 Approximately 90% of reported cases have involved females. De Bakey and Ochsner4 reported that 17.6% of such cases occurred in the first decade, 36.6% in the second decade, 27.4% in the third decade, and 4% in the fourth decade. Characteristically, there is a history of trichophagia, halitosis, and anorexia, especially for solids. A history of vomiting, abdominal pain, and weight loss may occasionally be elicited. Significant physical findings are limited to a palpable abdominal mass and slight to moderate

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