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March 1972

Picture of the Month

Author Affiliations

Boston; Donelson, Tenn

Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(3):229-230. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110090099012

Denouement and Discussion 


Manifestations  Trichobezoars are secondary to the ingestion of hair which then forms into a "hairball." Manifestations occur when the ball becomes larger and produces vague pain in the upper portion of the abdomen, tenderness in the epigastrium, intolerance to solid foods, and weight loss. Signs of obstruction may also be present. The majority of the patients are female and there is a higher incidence in children who are mentally retarded or emotionally disturbed. On physical examination the mass frequently can be palpated. It is easily confused with an enlarged, hard spleen but its mobility should differentiate it from the spleen. It may also be delineated on x-ray examination of the gastrointestinal tract. In most patients examination of the head will reveal bare patches from which the hair has been pulled. Short hair is unlikely to be caught in the stomach.Other types of bezoars include phytobezoar

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