The Plummer-Vinson syndrome, also called Paterson-Kelly syndrome or sideropenic dysphagia is a disorder linked to severe, long-term iron deficiency anemia, which causes swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) due to web-like membranes of tissue growing in the throat (esophageal webs). The cause of Plummer-Vinson syndrome is unknown; however, genetic factors and nutritional deficiencies may play a role. Women are at higher risk than men. more...
- Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing)
Signs and tests
Serial contrasted gastrointestinal radiography or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy may reveal the web in the esophagus. Blood tests used to diagnose anemia and/or iron deficiency are also employed.
Patients with Plummer-Vinson syndrome should receive iron supplementation in their diet. This may improve dysphagia and pain. If not, the web can be dilated during upper endoscopy to allow normal swallowing and passage of food.
Patients generally respond well to treatment.
There is risk of perforation of the esophagus with the use of dilators for treatment. There have been reports of an association between Plummer-Vinson syndrome and esophageal cancer.
Good nutrition with adequate intake of iron may prevent this disorder.
- Plummer-Vynson Syndrome. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. US Federal Government public domain. Update Date: 1/2/2003. By: Jenifer K. Lehrer, M.D., Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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