Boerhaave syndrome (patient information)
Boerhaave syndrome On the Web
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D.  Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: , Shaghayegh Habibi, M.D.
Causes of Boerhaave syndrome include seizures, severe straining, Vomiting, childbirth, procedures involving the esophagus, prolonged coughing or laughing. Most common symptoms include severe throat pain, Upper abdominal pain, Fever, pain with swallowing. Obtaining history gives important information in making a diagnosis of Boerhaave syndrome. A complete history will help determine the correct therapy. Physical examination may reveal fever, sweating, low blood pressure, weak pulse and increased heart rate. Most common complications of Boerhaave syndrome include air and/or inflammation in the mediastinum, Infection and Mediastinal abscess.
What are the symptoms of Boerhaave syndrome?
Most common symptoms of Boerhaave syndrome include:
- Severe throat pain
- Upper abdominal pain
- Pain with swallowing
What causes Boerhaave syndrome?
Causes of Boerhaave syndrome include:
- Severe straining
- Procedures involving the esophagus (such as endoscopy)
- Prolonged coughing or laughing
Who is at highest risk?
- Overindulgence in food
- History of allergies
- Medication-induced esophagitis
- Infectious ulcers
- Obtaining history gives important information in making a diagnosis of Boerhaave syndrome. A complete history will help determine the correct therapy.
- Physical examination may reveal fever, sweating, low blood pressure, weak pulse and increased heart rate.
- Laboratory findings often are nonspecific.
- Erect radiograph chest posteroanterior view is the most useful in early diagnosis.
When to seek urgent medical care?
Call your health care provider promptly if there is a rectal prolapse.
Its treatment includes immediate antibiotic therapy to prevent infection and sepsis, surgical repair of the perforation and if there is significant fluid loss it should be replaced with IV fluid therapy since oral rehydration is not possible.
Where to find medical care for Boerhaave syndrome?
Medical care for Boerhaave syndrome can be found here.
There are no established measures for the prevention of Boerhaave syndrome.
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)
If left untreated, Boerhaave syndrome is a fatal condition. With treatment, there is a 25% chance of mortality.
Most common complications of Boerhaave syndrome include:
- Air in the mediastinum
- Inflammation of the mediastinum
- Infection (fever, low blood pressure, and altered level of consciousness)
- Mediastinal abscess