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Aging Clin Exp Res. 2003 Aug;15(4):343-6.

Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis: an uncommon case of dysphagia in an older adult.

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  • 1Department of Geriatrics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Roma, Italy.


Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is a common disorder among older adults. It is characterized by ossification of the anterior longitudinal ligament of the spine and various extra-spinal ligaments. Although stiffness and decreased range of motion of the spine are the most common clinical presentations of DISH, extra-skeletal manifestations may also be present. We report the case of a 65-year-old man complaining of progressive dysphagia due to DISH. Barium swallow showed compression and lateral displacement of the cervical tract of the esophagus, secondary to compression by a large osteophyte. The patient received medical treatment with COX-2 inhibitors and liquid diet. In conclusion, DISH should be considered an important, although rare, cause of dysphagia among older adults. However, it should not be accepted as the cause of dysphagia until all other causes have been ruled out.

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