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J R Soc Med. 1995 March; 88(3): 149–150.
PMCID: PMC1295134

Spontaneous rupture of the oesophagus: case report of a delayed diagnosis and subsequent management.


Spontaneous rupture of the oesophagus is a rare but potentially fatal condition. Initially described by Boerhaave in 1724, this condition remained a pathological curiosity until a subsequent case was reported by Barrett in 1946. The diagnosis is often difficult and, thus, the appropriate management is delayed. An oesophageal disruption may occur within the mediastinum or between the mediastinum and the visceral lung pleura, resulting in an oesophago-pleural fistula. We report a case of a spontaneously occurring oesophageal disruption which was successfully managed with minimum surgical intervention.

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Selected References

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