Dysphagia historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Feham Tariq, MD [2], Ajay Gade MD[3]], Hamid Qazi, MD, BSc [4]


Dysphagia derives from the Greek root dys meaning difficulty or disordered, and phagia meaning "to eat". In 1800, Dr. Patrick Paterson reported a case of gangrenous stomach with dysphagia from lightening. In 1811, Dr. TJ Armiger reported a case of aortic aneurysm causing dysphagia. In 1978, Landres et al reported an isolated case of vigorous achalasia and concluded that this was a variant of eosinophilic gastroenteritis in a patient with marked hypertrophy and eosinophilic infiltration of esophagus. In 1981, Picus and Frank reported a case of a 16-year-old boy with progressive dysphagia for 1.5 years, endoscopic findings were suggestive of multiple 1-mm nodular filling defects in the esophagus in an area of stricture with dilatation above. In 1982, Münch et al and in 1983, Matzinger and Daneman both described isolated cases of esophageal eosinophilia with dysphagia in patients with assumed eosinophilic gastroenteritis. In 1989, Attwood et al described esophageal asthma, an episodic dysphagia with eosinophilic infiltrates. In 1993, Attwood et al reported 12 adults with dysphagia, normal pH monitoring, and dense esophageal eosinophilia. Seven patients had food hypersensitivity, and all required advanced intervention (dilatation and/or steroids in 1 case) for resolution of symptoms. In 1994, Straumann et al described a series of 10 patients with acute recurrent dysphagia seen over a 4-year period.

Dysphagia historical perspective

The historical perspective of dysphagia is as follows:[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Landmark Events in the Development of Treatment Strategies

  • In 1988, Fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) evolved as a valid, low-cost, and quick bedside technique for the evaluation of dysphagia among different hospital settings and all age groups.[10][11]


  1. Landres RT, Kuster GG, Strum WB (1978). "Eosinophilic esophagitis in a patient with vigorous achalasia". Gastroenterology. 74 (6): 1298–1301. PMID 648822.
  2. Picus D, Frank PH (1981). "Eosinophilic esophagitis". AJR Am J Roentgenol. 136 (5): 1001–3. doi:10.2214/ajr.136.5.1001. PMID 6784497.
  3. Matzinger MA, Daneman A (1983). "Esophageal involvement in eosinophilic gastroenteritis". Pediatr Radiol. 13 (1): 35–8. PMID 6844053.
  4. Attwood SE, Smyrk TC, Demeester TR, Jones JB (1993). "Esophageal eosinophilia with dysphagia. A distinct clinicopathologic syndrome". Dig. Dis. Sci. 38 (1): 109–16. PMID 8420741.
  5. Straumann A, Spichtin HP, Bernoulli R, Loosli J, Vögtlin J (1994). "[Idiopathic eosinophilic esophagitis: a frequently overlooked disease with typical clinical aspects and discrete endoscopic findings]". Schweiz Med Wochenschr (in German). 124 (33): 1419–29. PMID 7939509.
  6. Kelly KJ, Lazenby AJ, Rowe PC, Yardley JH, Perman JA, Sampson HA (1995). "Eosinophilic esophagitis attributed to gastroesophageal reflux: improvement with an amino acid-based formula". Gastroenterology. 109 (5): 1503–12. PMID 7557132.
  7. Straumann A, Spichtin HP, Grize L, Bucher KA, Beglinger C, Simon HU (2003). "Natural history of primary eosinophilic esophagitis: a follow-up of 30 adult patients for up to 11.5 years". Gastroenterology. 125 (6): 1660–9. PMID 14724818.
  8. Paterson P (1800). "Case of Gangrenous Stomach, with Dysphagia, from Lightning: Communicated in a Letter to Dr. Simmons". Med Facts Obs. 8: 111–121. PMC 5111436. PMID 29106246.
  9. Howarth W (1910). "Tuberculosis of the Larynx, with considerable Dysphagia, treated and relieved by Congestion Hyperaemia". Proc R Soc Med. 3 (Laryngol Sect): 164–5. PMC 1961421. PMID 19974394.
  10. Crespin OM, Liu LWC, Parmar A, Jackson TD, Hamid J, Shlomovitz E; et al. (2017). "Safety and efficacy of POEM for treatment of achalasia: a systematic review of the literature". Surg Endosc. 31 (5): 2187–2201. doi:10.1007/s00464-016-5217-y. PMID 27633440.
  11. El Khoury R, Teitelbaum EN, Sternbach JM, Soper NJ, Harmath CB, Pandolfino JE; et al. (2016). "Evaluation of the need for routine esophagram after peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM)". Surg Endosc. 30 (7): 2969–74. doi:10.1007/s00464-015-4585-z. PMID 26487213.

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