Although the symptom-complex of cardiospasm has been known to the medical world under a variety of names for several decades, but few authentic cases found their way into the literature prior to the last decade. As early as 1821, in fact, the condition had been observed by Purton, and trauma considered by him as a causative factor. Esophagus spasm, however, had been known to medicine even long before this, and it is not at all unlikely that some of the early reports, which go back to 1740, even as far back as Hippocrates, were certain stages of the condition known to-day as cardiospasm.
In 1878 Zenker and Von Ziemssen had collected reports of seventeen cases under the title of "simple ectasia," and stated that in these cases there was enormous ectasia of the tube without any underlying stenosis. The reports of cases collected by them were those of Purton (1821),