Mallory-Weiss syndrome (esophageal tear)

Neck | Otorhinolaryngology | Mallory-Weiss syndrome (esophageal tear) (Disease)


In pediatrics, Mallory-Weiss tears are recognized in children with predisposing medical conditions, including portal hypertension, liver cirrhosis, and severe gastroesophageal reflux disease. The clinical implications in these pediatric patients are noteworthy, especially because these children are predisposed to recurrent upper GI bleeding. The associated risk of morbidity and mortality must also be underscored.

Causes and Risk factors

Mallory weiss syndrome is a syndrome characterized by esophageal bleeding caused by a mucosal tear in the esophagus as a result of forceful vomiting or retching. The initial description was associated with alcoholic bingeing; however, with the advent of endoscopy, Mallory-Weiss tears have been diagnosed in many patients with no antecedent history of alcohol intake. Although the tear typically occurs after repeated episodes of vomiting or retching, it may occur after a single incident. Although most written reports of these tears relate to adults, Mallory-Weiss tears also occur in children.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The tear usually heals in a few days without treatment. Surgery is rarely needed. Drugs that suppress stomach acid (proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers) may be given, but it is not clear if they are helpful.

If blood loss has been great, blood transfusions may be needed. In most cases, bleeding stops without treatment within a few hours. ...