Geophagia Diagnosed by Roentgenograms

Charles E. Mengel, MD; William A. Carter, MD
JAMA. 1964;187(12):955-956. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060250073022.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

THE FEATURES OF geophagia (pica),1,2 receive sporadic attention in the medical and sociologic literature. Geophagia is most common in the South, remains prevalent in the Negro population, occurs almost exclusively in females, and is usually exaggerated during pregnancy. During the course of an investigation of the nutritional and hematological effects of clay and starch ingestion, x-rays of the abdomen established the diagnosis in several patients and in others served as a useful index of the amount of dirt ingested. In addition, the radiographic findings have provided clues useful in establishing massive clay ingestion in certain cases of iron deficiency anemia of obscure origin. The purpose of this report is (1) to illustrate the radiographic changes, and (2) to recall attention briefly to this practice which may result in anemia, severe illness, and even death.3-8

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  This 17-year-old Negro female came to the hospital with


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.