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Med J Aust. 1986 Dec 1-15;145(11-12):613-4.

The fascinating history of bezoars.


The word "bezoar" is derived from the Arabic "bazahr" or "badzehr", which means antidote or counter-poison; animal bezoars were widely used in medicine until the 18th century. Trichobezoars (hair), phytobezoars (vegetable matter) or combinations of both (trichophytobezoars) may be found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. While the prevalence of bezoars in humans is low, mortality rates may be as high as 30% if they remain untreated, mainly through gastrointestinal bleeding, destruction or perforation. Endoscopic treatment of gastric bezoars has made inroads into the traditional treatment of bezoars by surgical removal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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