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Mallory-Weiss syndrome

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Severe, painless and sometimes fatal hemorrhage from the upper gastrointestinal tract due to a tear in the mucosa of the esophagus or gastroesophageal junction, usually preceded by severe vomiting. Most cases associated with chronic alcoholism, but may also be caused by malignant tumors, pernicious vomiting of pregnancy, or other diseases. Signs are pallor; tachyardia; in some patients shock. Prevalent in males, usually onset after 30 years of age - it takes some time and effort to drink that much.

First described by Heinrich Irrenaeus Quincke (1842-1922) in 1879. Mallory and Weiss described 15 cases of this syndrome in 1929 and six additional cases in 1932. In most of the patients the condition was associated with chronic alcoholism.


  • H. Quincke:
    Ulcus oesophagi ex digestione.
    Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medicin, Leipzig, 1879, 24: 72.
  • G. K. Mallory, S. Weiss:
    Hemorrhages from lacerations of the cardiac orifice of the stomach due to vomiting.
    American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Thorofare, N.J., 1929, 178: 506-15.
  • S. Weiss, G. K. Mallory:
    Lesions of the cardiac orifice of the stomach produced by vomiting.
    Journal of the American Medical Association, Chicago, 1932, 98: 1353-1355.

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