Boerhaave syndrome classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mohamed Diab, MD [2] Ajay Gade MD[3]] Feham Tariq, MD [4] Shaghayegh Habibi, M.D.[5]


Boerhaave syndrome may be classified according to the location into three groups: distal intrathoracic, intra-abdominal and cervical esophageal perforation. It also may be classified according to the time of presentation into three groups: acute, subacute and chronic perforation.


Classification according to the location into three groups:[1][2][3]

  • Distal intrathoracic esophageal perforation
  • Intra-abdominal esophageal perforation
  • Cervical esophageal perforation

Also Boerhaave syndrome may be classified according to the time of presentation:[4]

  • Acute perforation: presents with symptoms within twenty-four hours after rupture
  • Subacute perforation: symptoms develop between twenty four hours to two weeks following perforation
  • Chronic perforation: the onset of symptoms is more insidious, often delaying presentation and diagnosis for weeks to months after rupture


  1. McGovern M, Egerton MJ (1991). "Spontaneous perforation of the cervical oesophagus". Med. J. Aust. 154 (4): 277–8. PMID 1994204.
  2. Whyte RI, Iannettoni MD, Orringer MB (1995). "Intrathoracic esophageal perforation. The merit of primary repair". J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. 109 (1): 140–4, discussion 144–6. doi:10.1016/S0022-5223(95)70429-9. PMID 7815790.
  3. Cross MR, Greenwald MF, Dahhan A (2015). "Esophageal Perforation and Acute Bacterial Mediastinitis: Other Causes of Chest Pain That Can Be Easily Missed". Medicine (Baltimore). 94 (32): e1232. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000001232. PMC 4616702. PMID 26266352.
  4. Malik UF, Young R, Pham HD, McCon A, Shen B, Landres R, Mahmoud A (2010). "Chronic presentation of Boerhaave's syndrome". BMC Gastroenterol. 10: 29. doi:10.1186/1471-230X-10-29. PMC 2847967. PMID 20226056.

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