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The Mallory-Weiss Syndrome

Br Med J 1974; 1 doi: (Published 26 January 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;1:140
  1. D. J. B. St. John,
  2. J. P. Masterton,
  3. N. D. Yeomans,
  4. H. A. F. Dudley


    A policy of immediate investigation of patients with haematemesis or melaena or both led to the diagnosis of the Mallory-Weiss syndrome in 16 out of 121 patients admitted to a combined medical-surgical unit over three and a half years. A typical history suggestive of the diagnosis was obtainable in only nine of the 16 patients, though recent alcohol intake was high in another four. All patients survived the episode. Establishment of the diagnosis by oesophagogastroscopy was of special benefit when surgery was needed for control of continuing blood loss, but it also simplified the subsequent medical management of those patients in whom bleeding stopped spontaneously. The incidence of 13·2% in this series suggests that the Mallory-Weiss syndrome may be a relatively common cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.