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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 58-60
Case Record

Hemothorax from External Rupture of Esophageal Varices: An Unusual Fatal Complication

Nigel H. Bramwell and Roger W. Byard

Department of Pathology, Ottawa General Hospital, University of ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Received 1 December 1988; Accepted 9 December 1988

Copyright © 1989 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A case of sudden death caused by hemorrhage into the chest cavity from a linear tear of the external esophageal wall following vomiting in a 20-year-old woman with congenital portal vein atresia is described. Compromise of the underlying esophageal wall due to recent sclerotherapy for bleeding varices predisposed ro this highly unusual ‘adventitial’ variant of the Mallory-Weiss syndrome.