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Srp Arh Celok Lek. 2001 Sep-Oct;129(9-10):257-9.

[The Mallory-Weiss syndrome as an unrecognized cause of death].

[Article in Serbian]

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  • 1Institute of Forensic Medicine, University School of Medicine, Belgrade.


Longitudinal tears in the esophagus at the esophageogastric junction are termed Mallory-Weiss syndrome. They are encountered most commonly in alcoholics, attributed to episodes of excessive vomiting. These lacerations could be the cause of massive and severe external and/or internal fatal bleeding. Bleeding from upper gastrointestinal parts could be caused by this syndrome, as well as by ulcers, inflammations, esophageal varices, tumours, blunt abdominal injuries, etc. Such unclear deaths could be of interest to law authorities because they are suspicious, sudden and/or obscure. In daily forensic medical practice, this syndrome is relatively rare, and therefore it, it should be recognized. In this paper, the authors present the case of a single male, aged 54, a chronic drinker, who was found dead in his flat. During the previous day, he was observed medically in the Trauma Centre in Belgrade for nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting and diarrhea). The mucous tears of esophageogastric junction had been established by autopsy, as well as the massive internal gastrointestinal bleeding. On the basis of autopsy and microscopic findings, clinical data and circumstances, the established cause of natural death was fatal exsanguination from esophageogastric mucous tears due to Mallory-Weiss syndrome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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