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J Clin Pathol. 1991 September; 44(9): 787–788.
PMCID: PMC496736

Sudden postoperative death caused by unheralded Mallory Weiss tears.


Mallory Weiss tears are a common cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, typically reported as following repeated vomiting after an alcoholic binge. This association may have been overemphasised, and these lesions could be caused by a wide range of spontaneous and iatrogenic events. A case of sudden postoperative death caused by massive haematemesis, unheralded by any evidence of vomiting or retching, as a result of Mallory Weiss tears is reported.

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Selected References

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  • Watts HD, Admirand WH. Mallory-Weiss syndrome. A reappraisal. JAMA. 1974 Dec 23;230(12):1674–1675. [PubMed]
  • Graham DY, Schwartz JT. The spectrum of the Mallory-Weiss tear. Medicine (Baltimore) 1978 Jul;57(4):307–318. [PubMed]
  • Knauer CM. Mallory-Weiss syndrome. Characterization of 75 Mallory-weiss lacerations in 528 patients with upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Gastroenterology. 1976 Jul;71(1):5–8. [PubMed]
  • Browse NL, Hall JH. Effect of dipyridamole on the incidence of clinically detectable deep-vein thrombosis. Lancet. 1969 Oct 4;2(7623):718–720. [PubMed]
  • Hulewicz B. Gastric trauma following cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Med Sci Law. 1990 Apr;30(2):149–152. [PubMed]
  • Hastings PR, Peters KW, Cohn I., Jr Mallory-Weiss syndrome. Review of 69 cases. Am J Surg. 1981 Nov;142(5):560–562. [PubMed]
  • Sugawa C, Benishek D, Walt AJ. Mallory-Weiss syndrome. A study of 224 patients. Am J Surg. 1983 Jan;145(1):30–33. [PubMed]

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