Mallory-Weiss Syndrome

Other Known Aliasesgastro-esophageal laceration syndrome

Definitionlongitudinal mucosal lacerations in the distal esophagus and proximal stomach often leading to bleeding from submucosal arteries

Clinical Significance These tears often occurs as a result of forceful vomiting and can present with hematemesis or melena. Risk factors include alcohol abuse, hiatal hernias, and bulemia. In contrast to Boerhaave’s syndrome, this only involves the mucosa and submucosa and therefor, is not a full thickness rupture. Diagnosis is made via endoscopy and treatment depends on how active the bleed is at the time of endoscopy.

HistoryNamed after two physicians, George Kenneth Mallory (1900-1986) and Soma Weiss (1898-1942), from Boston. Dr. Mallory received his medical doctorate from Harvard Medical School in 1926 and followed in his father’s footsteps by working at the Mallory Institute of Pathology at Boston City Hospital. Dr. Weiss studied physiology and biochemistry in Budapest before immigrating to the United States immediately after World War I, when he wualified in medicine in 1923. He started his career at Cornell before moving to Harvard Medical School, and finally becoming physician-in-chief and professor at The Brigham Hospital in 1939. They partnered and co-authored the manuscript with their eponymous name in 1929, where they described 15 cases of severe, painless hemorrhage of the esophagus preceded by vomiting in alcoholics. They followed this up in 1932 with an additional 6 cases.


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