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Bergmann's syndrome

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Obsolete synonym for a cardio-oesophageal complex of symptoms in hiatus hernias in the diaphragm. Sliding hernia prevalent in males, with onset in old age; paraoesophageal hernia in females, with onset in middle age. A congenital or acquired condition in which part of the stomach protrudes above the diaphragm. Symptoms of variable nature and intensity include epigastric or midthoracic pain, radiation to left costal margin or shoulder and arm. Frequently manifested when lying down or after meals. Symptoms may mimic coronary, colic, duodenal pains. Autosomal recessive or X-linked inheritance.

This eponymic term was suggested by F. Cunha in 1934 to designate a particular type of recurrent diaphragmatic hernia that allegedly occurred primarily in elderly persons. The name was selected because the condition had been frequently observed in von Bergmann's clinic.


  • G. von Bergmann:
    Das ”epiphrenale Syndrom,” seine Beziehung zur angina pektoris und zum Kardiospasmus.
    Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift, 1932, 58: 605-609. Zur funktionellen Pathologie der Leber insbesondere der Alkohol-Ätiologie der Cirrhose.
    Klinische Wochenschrift, Berlin, 1927, 6: 776-780.
  • F. Cunha:
    Recurrent "hiatus hernia" syndrome of von Bergmann.
    Am J Dis Nutrition, 1934, 1: 170-172.

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