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Obstructive Syphilitic Esophagitis

John Stone, M.D.; Stanton A. Friedberg, M.D.
JAMA. 1961;177(10):711. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040360016012b.
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SYPHILIS involving the esophagus has been reported infrequently. Hudson and Head1 state that prior to 1950 there were but 75 listed cases. In the last decade there have been only 3 reports in the world literature.2-4 In view of the recent increase in venereal diseases, attention should be directed again to the clinical problems which might be anticipated.

Report of a Case  A 65-year-old male was referred to the Otolaryngology Clinic because of inability to swallow solid food for 4 months. There had been no accompanying pain, nausea, emesis, regurgitation, or cough. He had lost 45 lb. during this period.Physical examination revealed an emaciated male. The blood and spinal fluid Wasserman tests were very strongly positive. Barium studies of the esophagus revealed a filling defect about 4 cm. in length at the aortic arch level.On esophagoscopic examination the mucosa was normal to a distance of


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